7 SEP 2021

Le Rendez-Vous Day 2: The potential of French documentaries

On the second day of the digital meeting the global appeal of French documentaries was discussed and Terranoa; ZED; ARTE Distribution and Only Distrib exposed four documentary titles with global potential.


The second day of Le Rendez-Vous Bi@rritz 2021 showed the strength and power of the French documentaries and also offered the opportunity to highlight four diverse documentaries from French distributors.  On What’s Hot in France? - Documentary section, Francois Pier Pélinard Lambert, Editor-in-Chief of Le Film Francais and Michel Abouchahla, President at Ectran Total commented the last trends on this important genre.

Francois Pier Pélinard said that "documentaries are a European and American trend, and historical ones are very important and are resonating so much. Also, the new directors are giving new looks to the documentaries,  appealing French and worldwide audiences".

Michel Abouchahla stated that people are very hungry for this kind of documental material in Europe, and viewers want to understand the current reality revising the past facts "that is one of the reasons of why documentaries are so important nowadays", he affirmed. "Furthermore, audiences in France and Europe are concern about the future and ask themselves about the political class and environment issues," he concluded.

 Enhancement Documentaries

The first Super Highlight of the day was the documentary film "Children of Chaos, What Became of WW2 Orphans?" produced by Elephant Doc, Kawassa Films, Vertigo Films and distributed by Terranoa. The Mini - Series (2x52' or 1x100') recreated the time in 1945, when 15 million orphans roamed in the debris of Europe. Through recolorized archives and testimonies, audiences will understand how the victorious nations took control of the orphans, regardless of their origins. "When Fanny Glissant (producer) came up to us, we were really enthusiastic because we knew it will be an important film to carry. We have seven major European public stations behind the film, and we're still searching for an American, Canadian or Asian partner because the film is very universal, commented Isabelle Graziadey, from Terranoa.

In the afternoon was the turn of "Raising Notre-Dame", a Super Highlight documentary produced and distributed by ZED.  Two years after the fire that nearly destroyed it, the consolidation of Notre-Dame de Paris is finally coming to an end. The cathedral has been saved. At the heart of the site and out of public view, over 200 worldwide experts now share with architects the common objective of uncovering the secrets of its structure, to successfully return the soul, light and sacred quality to this unique cathedral. With unprecedented and long-term access, this series is a unique immersion of astonishing beauty in the largest restoration project of the century, alongside the workers, architects, historians and scientists who are struggling to bring it back to life. The series (3x52')  will be delivery in spring 2022 and Chloé Persyn Preljocaj, from ZED, commented  "'Raising Notre-Dame' is a bible of the kind of projects we are looking for".

The last ones super highlight documentaries of Les Rendez-Vous day two were "When Big Tech Targets Healthcare" distributed by ARTE Distribution and "Green Heroes" from Only Distrib.  

"When Big Tech Targets Healthcare" (1x52' and 1x90') shows how Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft are conquering the world of medicine, approaching it (almost) as a market like any other.  "This documentary is very important for us, for international distribution. We are at the heart of the political and social phenomenon, and we are following a revolution", commented Florence Sala, Head of ARTE Distribution. "We have all the ingredients, the big tech companies, a world concern topic, and this is one of the film that we are betting on. When ARTE Distribution read the project, we knew that it's going to be an international success because it's a subject that concern everyone, and we believe that broadcasters and platform around the world will be interested in it", she finalized. 

"Green Heroes" tells the story of the traditional confrontation between the urban and the rural world and how we have to face a crisis that has never been seen before, reconnecting the urban world with the rural world for a common future that is more respectful of the living. Whether they are farmers, breeders, architects or even urban farmers, we are going to follow, in every corner of the earth, the daily life of these women and men of whom know-how is precious for the safekeeping of our planet. "Only Distrib wants to have a catalogue with positive programming, we try to do that highlighting people who try to find solution to the current issues we are facing, and that's what we are doing with 'Green Heroes' at the moment", affirmed Laurène Voilliot, Head of International Sales & Acquisitions from Only Distrib.

By Romina Rodríguez