Barthélémy FougeaLet us introduce you the 2014 César-winning producer of the Best Documentary “On the Way to School”, Barthélémy Fougea, who will present his new project in collaboration with Jacques Perrin, during Asian Side of the Doc 2014 pitching sessions.

Question: The big screen success (more than 1.3 million entries) of the documentary you produced at Winds Films,Sur le Chemin de l’Ecole” (On the Way to School), was crowned by winning the 2014 César for Best Documentary.
How do you analyse this recognition and the great audience’s response?

Barthélémy Fougea : We are very lucky to be recognised by both professionals and audiences. “Sur le Chemin de l’Ecole” has launched a debate in schools and in families. As a documentary film producer, it is wonderful to make films which talk of going out to meet other people, of passing something on, and to see the way in which audiences then carry the film forward.

Question:  This is your first time at Asian Side, but not the first time in Chengdu. Asian Side of the Doc 2014 will give you an opportunity to develop the contacts you made last year at Sunny Side of the Doc 2013 in La Rochelle. Have you concretised any coproductions with Asian partners since then? What advice would you give to European producers looking for Asian partners?

BF: The first time I came to Chengdu was back in 1992, I crossed over from Vietnam to discover China. I came back in 2010 to be awarded 3 Golden Pandas by Mr Liu Wen for the film “Face au Volcan Tueur” (Volcano Devils). I must admit that I didn’t recognise Chengdu, seeing how much the city has changed.

At Sunny Side 2013, I started a partnership with the Shanghai Media Group (ICS) on the documentary series of “Les Chemins de l’Ecole”. Asian Side of the Doc 2014 is an opportunity to concretise this partnership.

But one of the main reasons I am coming to Asian Side of the Doc 2014 is to present a very ambitious new project entitled “Une Nuit sur Terre” (A Night on Earth). I presented the outlines of this to Mr Liu Wen and his team from CCTV9 at Sunny Side 2013.

Question: You are working on a new adventure with Jacques Perrin, the documentary “Une Nuit sur Terre” (A Night on Earth) which is one of the projects pitched at Asian Side of the Doc. Can you give us a foretaste of your pitch? What are your expectations?

BF: Meeting Jacques Perrin clearly brought a new dimension to this project. Fabrice Puchault (France 2) decided to support “Une Nuit sur Terre” to create a major event for the 2014 Christmas period. The project’s technical and artistic ambitions require a large-scale international partnership. Over the past two years we have been developing state of the art technology for filming in colour at night. Tests have been carried out in Germany, France and Japan. 4K technology is clearly going to herald a new era in animal documentaries.

Animal documentaries shot in daytime for 100 years, but we have known for the same amount of time that most animal and plant activity takes place during the night. By opening the doors to a previously unknown world, technology is sealing a virtuous alliance between filmmakers and scientists.

Watch the trailer of “On the Way to School”