Every August, the little village of Lussas in southern France becomes the capital of documentary. A major annual documentary festival has been held here since the 1970s, and it has grown to become an important platform for the development of films.
From his base among the vineyards and cherry trees, the festival’s founder Jean-Marie Barbe has big aspirations for the cultural status of the Ardèche department—why should art only come from Paris? Barbe is now working with a group of around 40 film lovers to build an online streaming platform called Tënk. But before they can welcome in the 10,000 subscribers they need, there are hundreds of documentaries to be viewed and selected.
When they’re not harvesting grapes, the villagers also help out with the fundraising, or curiously participate in urban initiatives such as yoga lessons. For two years, filmmaker Claire Simon follows the ups and downs in this unlikely utopia, with its harmonious cultural and agrarian society. The result is a 10-part series about hope and dreams, ancient crafts and new technologies. The first episodes of this work in progress are presented at IDFA.
TV5MONDE supports all French-language productions at IDFA 2018. For more French documentaries with Ducth subtitles, visit TV5MONDE.