Panthers of ISKL #165: The French Language Voice-Over Stars

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The French Language Voice-Over Stars

Congratulations to students Zahira D (‘27), Daphné L. (‘27), Nandini B (‘27), Mona B. (‘27), Leone C.(‘27), Ash C (‘26)., Tillie V.D.B.(‘26), and Gregorio S(‘26), who volunteered to take part as French voiceovers in Cendrée-Rions, the French version of the animated film and twisted tale ‘Cinda-Real’ a reimagined version of the Cinderella story.

Middle School (MS) World Language French teacher Marie-France Blais led the group of eight mainly non-native French language students in recording their voiceovers in French for the film where the students spent over 300 hours in the studio, with Blais providing some of the sounds and French subtitles.

Their dedication and hard work as a team paid off as the film was awarded the Sound Universe Award at the 14th edition of the International Festival Entr’2 Marches in Cannes, France, which showcases short films focusing on people with disabilities.

Here are their stories:


 

The French Language Voice-Over Stars

 

DAPHNE L. (‘27) – Cinda Real

Please share your experience learning French and why you chose to study it in school.

Daphne: My mother is French, and my dad is French-Canadian, so I have been learning the language since I was very little. I have never lived in France but every summer we go back to visit my family there.

What part did you play in the film?

Daphne: I played the role of Cinda Real, and it was exciting to voice her character as it was different from those princess stories. I enjoyed getting the opportunity to voiceover Cinda.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of being part of this experience?

Daphne: The most enjoyable part was the whole process of it. At the start, we all were getting to know each other and the story, then we started to have fun and really enjoy the project. It was so different when we got to the recording because you had to have the right tone, loudness, and pronunciation of the lines.

What proved to be the biggest challenge?

Daphne: My biggest challenge was being able to pronounce everything correctly. I am French, but I haven’t been around many French people and haven’t returned to France in a while. So it definitely was a challenge to get the proper accent and pronunciation.

What are you most proud of, and what do you feel you accomplished through your involvement in the film?

When I watched Cinda Real, I saw all the hard work and time we spent on making this come to life. I have made new bonds with the people who have worked on this and the story itself.

 

LEONE C. (‘27)- The Prince

Please share your experience learning French and why you chose to study it in school.

I am not currently studying French in ISKL; however, I lived in Paris for seven years. In these seven years, I went to a French school for five years. However, it was really fun to join this project to help me maintain my French-speaking skills.

What part did you play in the film?

I took the part of a kind and caring prince who is in love with Cinda Real.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of being part of this experience?

The most enjoyable aspect was meeting other fluent French speakers and getting to practice my French with them. I also want to be introduced to a new voice acting skill.

What proved to be the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was to perfect my lines and my tone. This was hard as it was my very first time doing any type of acting.

What are you most proud of, and what do you feel you accomplished through your involvement in the film?

For us as a group, I am proud of winning many awards; however, individually, I am proud of choosing this as my agency project and being committed to it.

 

MARIE (ASH) C. (‘26) – The Stepmother

Please share your experience learning French and why you chose to study it in school.

My native language is French. I spent nine years of my life in the south of France, and speak level c1–c2 fluency in French, – the language of my entire family.

What part did you play in the film?

I played the role of the evil stepmother.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of being part of this experience?

Learning my lines and practicing with my group mates was great fun. I also had a great time recording with them.

What proved to be the biggest challenge?

I found it difficult to project an angry or irritated tone because I tend to be quiet and soft-spoken, which comes through when people listen to my parts. Then, rather than being explicitly mean, I tried to counter that by speaking in a sassier manner.

What are you most proud of, and what do you feel you accomplished through your involvement in the film?

I’m very pleased with the finished product because I’ve always wanted to try voice acting. I had a wonderful opportunity with this project, which was also in my native tongue.

 

MONA B. (‘27) – The Step-Sister

Please share your experience learning French and why you chose to study it in school.

I chose to learn French because it has always sounded so interesting to hear the language being spoken, and it always seemed like the language flowed. I first decided to learn it at the start of 6th grade and have continued to grow with the language throughout the years.

What part did you play in the film?

I played one of the bratty, spoiled stepsisters who treated Cinda Real horribly, as if she was worthless.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of being part of this experience?

The most enjoyable part was combining acting and voice with a language I am learning. I loved creating my character with as big of a personality as I wanted and playing around with how to add emotion to a simple sentence.

What proved to be the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me was keeping the sentence sounding right and fluent while trying to add personality. It helped my mind focus on the two aspects of the sentence, which was very difficult at the beginning, but over time I improved.

What are you most proud of, and what do you feel you accomplished through your involvement in the film?

I am very proud of my contribution to the project and feel very accomplished as it brought me to another area of my drama that I never would’ve thought I would be doing. I’ve never imagined I’d be part of a voice recording in an animated story in French, and this experience will stay with me throughout my future visions and goals.

 

TILLIE V.D.B (‘26) – Woman in the Crowd

Please share your experience learning French and why you chose to study it in school.

I’ve been studying French for four years now, but I’ve always had exposure to the French language as I’m half Belgian, and half of Belgium is French-speaking. Although I’m from the Dutch-speaking part, I believe that being around the French language helped me develop my accent in French.

What part did you play in the film?

I played “Woman in Crowd,” which was not a very exciting role since I only had one line. I do regret not having a more prominent role as I think it would have helped my confidence in speaking French, but I’m grateful to have been a part of this, and I know next time to have more confidence in myself.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of being part of this experience?

I’m glad I got to participate in this because I enjoy and support the message of Cinda Real, and I think it’s important for young children to see the diverse world we live in reflected in them in traditional narratives like this.

What proved to be the biggest challenge?

Being in a French-speaking environment was new for me, but I’m glad it was because now I seek out opportunities to further my French-speaking skills.

What are you most proud of, and what do you feel you accomplished through your involvement in the film?

I’m proud that something we, a small group in ISKL, have done has gone so international, and I think it fits wonderfully with the concept of international schools being so connected to cultures across the globe.

I feel I accomplished a small thing, and it taught me a lesson that I could do something like this, although French is not my first (nor second) language. Although my part was small, I think it pushed me to pursue French through HS and hopefully continue to learn it later in life.

 

ZAHIRA D. (‘27) – Narrator and Fairy Godmother

Please share your experience learning French and why you chose to study it in school.

I’ve taken French for three years, and I plan on studying it throughout HS and college. I decided to learn French in 6th grade because I dreamed of attending art school in France and figured it would be an advantage to be fluent by then.

What part did you play in the film?

I played both the Fairy Godmother and the Narrator. The Fairy Godmother is this sweet old lady who helped Cinda Real through tough times and is behind most of her character development.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of being part of this experience?

What was most enjoyable about the entire process would have to be finally getting our scripts, listening to everyone together, and giving feedback. It was just so comfortable, and I liked reading the lines.

What proved to be the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge would have to be handling multiple projects at a time. We worked on this project while handling schoolwork, as the times overlapped – yet we managed to get them all done and dusted.

What are you most proud of, and what do you feel you accomplished through your involvement in the film?

I am most proud of simply being able to be a part of it. Seeing my name on the big screen during the credits and hearing my voice. To think as a kid, I would watch these animations and dream of living in those fantasies – it is so unreal.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.