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Les États généraux du film documentaire 2021 Viewing experiences

Viewing experiences

Despite the legitimate fears concerning the impact of the health crisis on the world of documentary production (here as elsewhere), the thousand some films that the preselection team viewed did not show the slightest sign of weakness… On the contrary. In our opinion, this year’s production proved to be extremely rich.
So the films we have the honour of presenting in this 2021 edition of “Viewing Experiences” aim to be representative of the multiple aesthetic registers commonly found under the term “documentary cinema”. This is for us a major concern for it would be absurd to defend one current against another.
Films shot in immersion, in the first person, essays... Documentaries on the edge of fiction where the narrative construction plays an important role (Teenage Watchers, La Disparition de Tom R., Our Forests…). Or in what could be called the “opposite” register, films which gather raw documents. Between these two poles, works which are the result of a style of direction that twists and manhandles the Real to give it a highly singular cinematic form (The Police Estate, You Have a Day)
Among so many other proposals, we could dwell on two films from this selection: It’s Night Outside and The Man Who Was Looking for His Son. Two films that underline the exceptional power of metaphors when they confront the real. “Life is just one small piece of light between two eternal darknesses”, wrote Nabokov. Documentary film is a small piece of light, perhaps, but a light…
We note once again the great vitality of the Belgian cinema scene, in particular its schools and production workshops. Again this year, almost a third of films produced or coproduced in Belgium are presented in the programme “Viewing experiences”.
But aside from this strong contribution by our friends and neighbours, we want to highlight once again the entire production output of French-language documentary. Sixteen films will be screened along the week, whose narrative we will continue together thanks to the presence of all the filmmakers. A week of great intensity is before us winding up with a little surprise on Saturday morning, so that two words come immediately to mind looking forward to it: bravo and thanks!

Stéphane Bonnefoi, Adrien Faucheux

N.B.: The surprise screening on Saturday 28.08 at 10:30 will be announced during the festival.

Debates led by Stéphane Bonnefoi and Adrien Faucheux. In the presence of the directors and/or producers.