Before directing his first feature in 1994, Jacques Audiard had already had a successful 20 year career as a screenwriter, which included working on three films in his early years with his father, filmmaker Michel Audiard. His first two features as a director, See How They Fall and A Self-Made Hero (LFF1996), both starred Mathieu Kassovitz and Jean-Louis Trintignant and exemplify how his specificity about character as a writer has helped make him an excellent director when working with actors. Audiard’s fascination with the psychological state of his characters and his understanding of the contradictions and complexities of human behaviour informs his strength as a writer and a director. His ability to develop a character with emotional intensity, whilst clearly showing the growth of their personality over the course of a story, is especially evident in A Prophet, where the character of Malik enters the film almost as a blank canvas, but his intense experience within the prison walls contributes greatly to the formation of his strong identity. Few other writer-directors have honed their talent to the extent that Jacques Audiard has, and he is seen here in conversation with film journalist Jonathan Romney.