About Bernard Fau

Portait de Bernard Fau en 1982
Portait de Bernard Fau en 1982

The rider

Very early on I thought that motorcycling was a way of life and that these riders were the last romantics. To live their passion, they agreed to put their lives in danger.

I was born in Suresnes, a town near the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, on February 22, 1953.

I am the third in a family of four boys and at school, if I am good at sports and drawing, I am starting to get bored at the back of the class. These two activities will be decisive for the future.

I was therefore fifteen years old in 1968, events inevitably influenced me and I left school in 70 to work. In the meantime I am doing a preparatory year for the Arts Déco in Paris, but the motorcycle racing virus is stronger, I put away the brushes.

1971, Côte Lapize, first race in secret from my parents, a 4th fastest time followed by a fall are enough to convince me that the race is for me. Admirer of exceptional men, I dreamed of having a destiny, the Continental Circus is there. I have only one obsession, to be part of it and become the best private pilot” in the world, like Jack Findlay, the hero of “Continental Circus”. Strangely, it’s not the handsome, god-blessed champion Agostini that appeals to me, but the private, solitary and independent.

Later, it happened to me in certain races to be the best “private in the world”, but ephemeral exploits did not nourish much at that time…


1984, I hang up the leather. I leave the race without money, but alive.

1985, another life begins on movie sets. Thanks to Patrick Grandperret and PW Glenn, directors and cameraman recognized in the industry. I take my first steps on the feature film Les Enragés” with Fanny Ardant and François Cluzet.

1986, I set up a special effects company with Eric Faivre which will become a reference in this field. But special effects interests me less than photography, which I practice as an amateur and when circumstances push me on the set of “Mauvais Sang” by Léos Carax, with Juliette Binoche, Michel Piccoli, Denis Lavant, I don’t miss my appointment. 

1991… “Les Nuits Fauves” by Cyril Collard, a film that has become cult and the reference of the AIDS years.

An exhibition of 50 prints at Fnac will circulate in all its stores for 2 years.

The trigger

2013, the sixties have arrived. No more time to waste and relatives help me to line up a bike for the classic races. The smile of speed returns and the path to the podiums with it.

Incredible, the dream continues. But this time another challenge has arisen, that of making a film that tells the past in the present.

Racing to film, and filming to race.

The movies

Racing to film and filming to race.
I invented the formula, and begins the adventure of “Once upon a time, the Continental Circus“.

2015, the film produced thanks to a subscription of 1000 people is finally released. It lasts three hours, including one hour of unpublished INA archives. He knows his success in esteem but not financially. An ex-pilot directing a movie had never performed before. It’s my world title !

2017, I start a new film on the incredible and exciting champion Johann Zarco.

2022, after four years of hard work, the distribution of the film “Johann Zarco, a daring champion” during the covid years is done with forceps, but the pride shared with the pilot-actor is legitimate.

And if the subject of the film touches an audience who does not know the bike, it is proof that the portrait of the human as much as that of the pilot is on the screen.

Bernard Fau derrière l'objectif