STEP BY STEP / Patients


U.S. Premiere • Drama, Comedy • France, 2017

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 110 min

Directed by: Grand Corps Malade, Mehdi Idir

Written by: Grand Corps Malade, Fadette Drouard

Based on the book by: Grand Corps Malade

Cinematography: Antoine Monod           

Film Editing: Laure Gardette

Original Score: Angelo Foley

Produced by: Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer (Mandarin Production), Jean-Rachid Kallouche (Kallouche Cinéma), F. Marc de Lacharrière, Gaumont

Cast: Pablo Pauly  (Ben), Soufiane Guerrab (Farid), Moussa Mansaly (Toussaint), Nailia Harzoune (Samia), Franck Falise (Steeve)

International Sales: Gaumont


A young man lies in a hospital bed. He can neither feel nor move his limbs. He can only stare at the ceiling. The nurses and doctors speak about him as if he weren’t present in the room. They are saying he will never walk again. Thus begins the travails of 20 year-old Ben, whose dreams are as broken as his spine. Based on the autobiography of French slam poet Fabien Marsaud, popularly known as Grand Corps Malade, this inspiring story recounts the hardships and the tears, as well as the ultimate victories of a life re-invented. Ben’s hopes of becoming a pro basketball player are dead in the water, but luckily, his sense of humor remains intact. Confined to a rehabilitation center with an assortment of fellow invalids, cripples, paras and quadras, or friends, as he eventually calls them, Ben makes his mind up to walk again. His patience will be put to the ultimate test, but support and even love will come in ways he never expected.


Although this is the feature debut of co-directors Mehdi Idir and Grand Corps Malade, they have plenty of experience working together. Idir began his career making music videos. His Paris By Light video was a YouTube hit that garnered international attention. Around that same time, Grand Corps Malade’s debut record Midi 20 was recognized with a Victoires de la musique award for album revelation of the year. Idir then directed a number of music videos for Grand Corps Malade. Idir’s first fiction short, Le Bout du Tunnel, is based on a song by Grand Corps Malade. The film experiments with the subjective camera style that would be so effective in Step by Step. The co-directors went to great lengths to bring authenticity to the film, shooting in the same rehabilitation center where Grand Corps Malade stayed, and casting disabled people in key roles.