Mapping the future with Thomas ARBEZ

Enjoy a series of interviews with the people who support us every year. Discover their expectations, highlights, and their vision for the future of the documentary industry. Today, Thomas Arbez, Head of creative department at INA, shared his thoughts with us.

Thomas Arbez, Head of creative department at INA

Thomas Arbez, Head of creative department at INA

How do you map the future of documentary in your company?

INA produces and co-produces almost 40 documentaries a year. With the arrival of Valérie Abita and Sophie de Hijes alongside Isabelle Foucrier, Stéphane Gabet and Anne Génevaux, there is now a team of 5 producers developing, producing and co-producing documentaries at the INA! 

In particular, this year we are producing an ambitious project for France Télévisions, based on a heritage collection initiated by the INA, which will collect accounts of women's everyday lives when they had to have an abortion before it was legalised in 1975. 

This documentary and memorial project will also give rise to a book co-published with Flammarion, a graphic novel and a podcast. 

This is just one example of our ambition, and of INA's capacity to support documentary creation.  

As far as distribution is concerned, our documentary productions - delegated productions and co-productions - also live on in INA's digital communities, which are powerful and particularly keen on documentaries.

How might Sunny Side of the Doc have helped to change the course of your career or your professional achievements?

For INA, as rights holder, co-producer, producer and broadcaster of documentaries - via our INA madelen streaming platform - the Sunny Side of the Doc is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of our activities and to enhance our expertise and support for projects every year.

And we are particularly pleased to be presenting at this 2024 edition of Sunny Side of the Doc the changes we will be making to our documentary co-production policy and conditions. 

What do you see as the next developments and big trends in the documentary world?

The delinearisation of documentary broadcasting - which is now well advanced - will obviously continue, enabling us to reach an ever wider and - let's hope - younger audience! New modes of consumption and the diversification of uses are all stimulating challenges for documentary creators and producers. 

In a world where opinions are becoming increasingly polarised, where reading the world and debate are giving way to caricatures and simplifications, documentaries are more necessary than ever to help us decipher and shed light on the world.

As we celebrate our anniversary, what would you like to wish Sunny Side of the Doc for the next 35 years?

There'll be plenty to meet, lots of innovations and discoveries, and plenty of sunshine too!