Federation's Mercer Productions to begin filming new documentary for ARTE

"Bhutan: Following in the footsteps of Matthieu Ricard" will be a 52’ film for ARTE, directed by Jérôme Cecil Auffret and co- written by Auffret and Caroline Halley.

28 OCT 2022

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Federation Studios production company, Mercer Productions, operated by Olivier Brémond and Thorunn Anspach, recently announced the filming of the documentary titled "Bhutan: Following in the footsteps of Matthieu Ricard." ‘’I want to travel again – maybe for the last time - to Bhutan: this little kingdom is one of the most special realms I have ever had the pleasure of visiting," Matthieu Ricard said. "I’ve photographed this country so much over the years but it must have changed a lot since the last time I was here. This trip will be an opportunity for me to talk about the concerns the Bhutan people have regarding the threat of global warming to their precious environment."

This 52’ film for ARTE, directed by Jérôme Cecil Auffret and co- written by Auffret and Caroline Halley, is produced by Mercer Productions, a Federation subsidiary production company created by Thorunn Anspach and Olivier Brémond in 2020. It specializes in French and international fiction and high-end documentaries. All global sales tasks related to "Bhutan: Following in the footsteps of Matthieu Ricard" will be handled by Federation. 

The filming process for "Bhutan: Following in the footsteps of Matthieu Ricard" took 28-days for the documentary in Bhutan on, kicking off in 16 September. After spending 7 years away, Buddhist monk and photographer Matthieu Ricard returns to Bhutan, a small hidden kingdom in the Himalayas where he has spent 10 years of his life. Caroline Halley, the documentary’s fellow writer: in her role as a visual artist and photographer inspired by pureness and sobriety, Caroline has spent the last 20 years exploring sacred places around the world, pictorially depicting the myths and legends they harbor.

The film invites viewers to get to know Matthieu Ricard, as well as his his country, Bhutan and its inhabitants. In the late Sixties, Matthieu Ricard was one of the first Westerners to convert to Buddhism. He has become internationally renowned for the simplicity with which he is able to heighten public awareness on the subjects of meditation, peace and altruism. A member of the Dalai-Lama’s inner circle, Ricard is also a photographer, and he uses this art form to share his values and his wonder over the workings of the world. ’"We will be following in Matthieu Ricard’s footsteps and seeing things through his eyes as he takes us to the mythical places that have left an eternal impression on this unique cosmopolitan monk. From inaccessible monasteries to mountain nomads, and from rituals to wildlife and impassable cols, the photographer’s red robe is our door opener to this country’s innermost secrets," Jérôme-Cecil Auffret, the film’s co-writer and director said. "Through him, we also get to meet his monk and lama friends and the various colorful characters he has known for many years.”