Fipadoc 2023, the international documentary film festival, wants to “change views, open hearts”.


In the program: new, “live”, series, compulsive, rugby, war, children, shared humanity… Fipadoc, the largest documentary film festival in France, opened on Friday, January 20 in Biarritz with a cinema concert, the world premiere of the film “29 173 NM”. premiere. About 200 works from 50 countries are exhibited at the festival until January 28. Interview with President Anne Georget.

RFI : The festival got off to a great start with an immersive documentary that relives skipper Thomas Ruyant’s crazy adventure during the Vendée Globe 2020. The images and sounds of this world tour of the oceans were captured by a unique device installed on board. by the artist Molecule. He remixed the music live during the screening of the last film. Cinema a hundred years after the silent era to live “, is this a genre that will return to theaters? ?

Anne-Georgette : It’s a way to create a dialogue between genres. We know how important music is in writing movies, including documentaries. It’s a way of creating an event, a way to offer a unique experience, a live mix. Maybe the concert will be restored, but it will never be the same.

The 2023 edition of the festival “ Documentary year It will be launched on Monday, January 23, precisely on Fipadoc. What else can Fipadoc do to promote documentaries? ?

The Documentary Year is a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to this genre, which is both culturally and cinematically important. Yes, documentaries really are movies, and it really is a genre unto itself that uses all the grammar of cinema. We will show how important documentaries are for deciphering the world. And we will tell stories that only cinema can.

At the opening of Fipadoc 2023, the artist Molecule (aka Romain de la Haye-Sérafini) is in the middle of the public to remix live the soundtrack of the documentary “29 13 NM” co-directed with Vincent Bonnemazou. © Siegfried Forster / RFI

At Fipadoc, professionals deal with creativity, production, distribution, themes, audiences, platforms… What do you see as the main challenge for French documentaries in 2023? ?

The biggest challenge for documentaries this year is partly a challenge for cinema in general. We are coming off two very difficult years with Covid. Audiences are starting to return to theaters. This is a real issue. Because during these two years, when the people sometimes settled at home, habits were learned. We need to bring back the taste of going out and watching movies together on the big screen. This is what the festival is about. Restore taste, desire, joy. I think it complements the documentaries shown on television. I refuse to oppose the two. These are two complementary experiences because you don’t always have a movie theater near your home. Television, on the other hand, brings many programs and brings real stories that matter very much to homes.

Two words series “and” documentaries for a long time it was considered almost contradictory. Today, documentary series have become a genre in themselves, programmed on Fipadoc even in cinemas during marathon sessions. What’s going on ?

We looked around and we and our loved ones had these marathon sessions watching drama serials on platforms for example. And this year we saw the presence of very high quality documentary series in Fipadoc. So what do we do? Are we programming one or two of the five or six episodes that are available in the series? We decided to give it a try. We’ll see how the public reacts to this marathon footage to absorb an entire series. We’ll see if the industry continues to offer us series of this quality. Maybe we should go for a competitive option? At present it is not so. But this is clearly a new type of writing and almost mandatory viewing.

“Rules of War” (Netherlands), a documentary by Gujido Hendrikx, in competition in the Fipadoc 2023 international documentary section. © Fipadoc 2023

That’s why we will be screening a total of five documentary series in cinemas, including a completely historical series. 1942 it explains how civilians in both hemispheres live in war conditions, how they experience war. belly of the beast Describes the “Jersey System”, hundreds of child sexual abuse cases on the island of Jersey in the early 2000s. The Outreau case not until now, a four-episode series looking at this incredible legal fiasco. Among these series we discover very innovative forms of combining fiction. It’s very exciting.

You have selected about 200 works from 50 countries. From the African continent, you show, among other things, Free MoneyCo-directed by Kenyan filmmaker Sam Soko and American filmmaker Lauren Defilippo.

Free Money It competes in the impact category. This is a very interesting film that shows the help, financial assistance, etc. provided by many NGOs. allows you to think about There, an American non-governmental organization proposed the creation of a system that offers money where people can do whatever they want. It is interesting to see how Defilippo and Soko critically approach the subject. It’s a movie set over several years, so it allows you to look back and see what happened.

By Lauren Defilippo and Sam Soko in competition in the impressive documentary category at Fipadoc 2023
“Free Money” by Lauren Defilippo and Sam Soko (United States, Kenya) in competition in the impactful documentary category at Fipadoc 2023. © Fipadoc 2023

FIPADOC international documentary film festival in Biarritz from January 20 to 28

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