A clash of egos
In 1982, the newly elected French president Francois Mitterrand decided that an ultra-modern opera house would be built on the Bastille Place, a symbol of the Revolution.
In a blind competition, 750 hopeful firms send designs. Word leaks out that the winner will be prominent American architect Richard Meier.
During the formal announcement, the Minister of Culture stutters an unexpected name: Carlos Ott from Canada. No one has heard of him; he certainly is not Richard Meier. What happened?
François Mitterrand looks thrilled, but not so much his sworn enemy and Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, who did everything to stop the construction of the Bastille Opera.
The heart and mind of Real Madrid
Toni Kroos is a phenomenon.
Even though he is the most successful and expensive German football player of all times, you barely notice him on the field or in public. He’s modest, introverted and reserved. Yet, he is the heart and mind of Real Madrid, the biggest football club in the world, where show and spectacle are as important as victory.
From Greifswald to Madrid, this film provides unseen images of the life of this atypical athlete and goes behind the scenes of professional football.
KROOS, THE FAMILY AND FOOTBALL [71’]
An intimate portrait of the media shy star athlete
For over a year, a camera followed famed soccer player Toni Kroos and his closest acquaintances, resulting in an intimate portrait second to none with unparalleled insights into the life of the media shy star.
THE SEA OF ITAMI JUN [112’] or [52’]
The architect of the elements
Itami Jun is Japanese-born Korean architect.
In this film, he revisits the places he cherished, more specifically the thoughtful and sensitive architectural works he designed.
His original and innovative approach has been revealed in the design of ensembles and by a meticulous choice of materials. Favoring wood, stone and metal, he has revived the tradition of harmony with nature for a more humane architecture.
Also available as a 52'
ANGELA MERKEL, A LEGACY THROUGH TIME [90’]
16 years at the helm of Germany
Angela Merkel embodied Germany for almost two decades carrying an image of stability and rationality. What are the secrets of her longevity?
Born in East Germany, she started as a biologist and, eventually, became the most powerful woman on the planet. In this film, Angela Merkel herself gives a unique insight into her career.
Barack Obama, Theresa May, Christine Lagarde, and many other world leaders who have worked with her shed new light on one extraordinary woman.
ANGELA MERKEL, THE UNEXPECTED [52’] or [90’]
The world's most powerful woman
Angela Merkel is often described as the new Iron Lady and referred to as “mother”. But who is this woman? What are the facts behind her story?
Interviews with childhood friends, long time companions, business executives and global political leaders reveal how the East German daughter of a protestant pastor worked her way up to become the most powerful woman on the planet.
Her modesty combined with strong will and strategic approach left many to underestimate Angela Merkel and thus paving the way for her rise to power.
Also available as a 90'
APOCALYPSE: THE BATTLE OF VERDUN [2x45’]
A 300 days nightmare
This film commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun through compelling narration and colorized archive footage.
The battle raged for 300 days in hellish conditions over an area of 100 square kilometres. In terms of strategic objectives, it achieved nothing. In the course of those 300 days, 700,000 men were killed, wounded or reported missing in action.
Also available in 90'
APOCALYPSE: THE NEVER ENDING WAR [2x45’]
After the Great War
1918 is a time of chaos, conflicts and precarious equilibrium. Survivors from the Great War have lost everything. As the world reels and tries to right itself, misery and uncertainty give rise to nationalism and the evil forces of totalitarianism.
Will peace ever come?
Also available as 90'
BLACK CODE [90’]
When states play Big Brother
This is a gripping account of how governments control and manipulate the internet to censor and monitor their citizens.
With stories from exiled Tibetan monks trying to circumvent China’s surveillance apparatus, Syrian citizens tortured for Facebook posts, Brazilian activists using social media to distribute alternative news, and Pakistani showing online violence against women, this film shows firsthand the high-stakes consequences that our unprecedented level of digital communication can produce.
As this battle for control of cyberspace is waged, our ideas of citizenship, privacy, and democracy are being challenged to the very core.
BREATH OF FREEDOM [90’]
A paradoxical chapter in American history
At the end of World War II, African-American GIs were stationed in Germany as part of a policy to help rid the country of racism and oppression.
That was pretty ironic since strict segregation prevailed in their own country, even in the US army.
Seen by the German people as representatives of a victorious power, these African-American GIs found themselves in a foreign country experiencing for the first time what it feels like to be treated as equals.
CARNAC, LOOKING FOR THE LOST KINGDOM [52’]
The mystery of the menhirs
In Brittany, France, the multitude of menhirs continues to confound archaeologists.
The most recent scientific research has identified dozens of new alignments of stelae, some of which lie under the sea. In the Neolithic period, why did men erect these gigantic funerary monuments to the glory of dignitaries as powerful as the Pharaohs?
From often tenuous clues, experts try to reveal the mysteries that still shroud these sites and this unique society that shone and disappeared suddenly.
COVID CENTURY [90’]
Preparing for the next pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every country and will continue to shape global politics and our daily lives for the foreseeable future.
Scientists even speculate that this could be the first in a series of new viral pandemics for which humanity must prepare.
This film looks at how to strengthen international coordination to better cope with the next such scourge.
DIVINE DIVAS [110’]
The first generation of Brazilian transvestite performers
In the 1960s, the Divine Divas were the first generation of Brazilian transvestite performers.
One of the first venues that gave shelter to men dressed as women was the Rival Theatre, directed by Américo Leal.
In this film, his granddaughter recounts the stories of a generation that revolutionized sexual behavior and challenged the country’s staid morality.
EARTH FROM ABOVE [16x52’]
A wonderful and emotional portrait of our planet
Hosted by worldwide famous photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and inspired by his best-selling book, this prime time documentary series explores the major environmental issues currently at stake.
This is the story of our beautiful, alive but fragile planet told by passionate men and women from all around the world.
Also available as 16x110'
ELIZABETH II: A QUEEN’S REVOLUTION [52’] or [90’]
A decade of turmoil
Queen Elizabeth had the longest reign. However, some years back the sacred duty of the Queen could have come to a sudden end when she went through a decade of unprecedented turmoil. The crown faltered.
To escape from a trap that History has laid for her, the Queen had to evolve, renounce the principles that had ruled her life until then, and overcome her royal distance
IDITAROD: THE RACE OF A LIFETIME [90’]
The ultimate challenge
The Iditarod is a legendary sled-dog race crossing the whole of Alaska, a distance of 1,700 kms.
Nicolas Vanier, a great lover of the Far North and veteran musher, is famous for his polar exploits in every icebound region of the world.
The Iditarod is his ultimate challenge.
One of the oldest and largest prisons in Russia
Kresty is one of the oldest and largest prisons in Russia. Located in the center of Saint Petersburg, its history reflects the history of the country.
Throughout its 130-year, thousands of people have passed through these walls: revolutionaries, engineers, generals, writers, poets, scientists, thieves, serial killers.
The Kresty prison is society in a nutshell, where human vices as well as fortitude, freedom and dignity reveal themselves to the fullest.
MEXICO'S SECRET TREASURES [110’]
The heritage of the Mayas, Toltecs, Incas and Aztecs
From pre-Columbian times until the Spanish conquest in 1521, Mexico was the cradle of civilizations ahead of their time.
Architecture combined with extraordinary artistic diversity characterizes the legacy of the Mayas, Toltecs, Incas, or Aztecs, as evidenced by the imposing ruins of palaces and temples scattered throughout the jungle.
These civilizations are also known to have developed impressive scientific knowledge.
NOWITZKI : THE PERFECT SHOT [105’]
The path to NBA glory
This film follows the career of Dirk Nowitzki, his relationship with his coach and mentor, Holger Geschwinder, and their path to NBA glory.
OMECITTA, A JAPANESE TRIBUTE TO CINEMA [70’]
The movie posters city
30 km West of Tokyo, the city of Ome has a quaint charm with the multitude of cinema posters that announced the arrival of western films in the 50s and 60s. Indeed, after the war, Ome, with its 3 theaters showing international films, attracted moviegoers from all over the country.
Proud of this past, the municipality decided to revive it and although all the cinemas have disappeared, the streets are dotted with painted reproductions of hundreds of posters.
Thus, upon arriving at the train station, travelers are greeted by Audrey Hepburn and her "Breakfast at Tiffany's", while on the platform others wait contemplating "Romeo and Juliet".
The moment their world teetered
Through a montage of compelling videos posted on the Internet by young gays, bis, lesbians, or transsexuals, this film makes us experience from within the groundbreaking moment of their coming out – after which their intimate and social life shall be forever changed.
THE BLACK EAGLES [90’]
The colors of the German national football team
The German national football team now includes black players.
How far have they come before stepping onto the pitch, what obstacles have they overcome, what prejudices and hostility have they faced? What was it like in the past and what is it like today?
These players also shed light on how spectators, the media and society in general deal with the issue of racism. Slowly, insidiously, something has changed over the past decades.
THE COLOR OF JUSTICE [52’] or [70’]
A deadly choke hold
In July 2014, Eric Garner, a black American, died in the street after being violently arrested by an NYC Police officer who is seen pulling him to the ground and choke holding him. His death was recorded in an amateur video that shows him telling repeatedly “I can’t breathe”.
Five months later, a grand jury declined to indict the policeman because of insufficient proof and the case was dismissed.
A few years later, a legal team conducted a mock trial to rectify this denial of justice.
Also available as a 70'
THE PEOPLE OF THE RIVER [12x52’]
Millions of people live on riversides
600 million people live along the holy Ganges, in the centre of India. The wild Zambezi goes into the heart of Africa and literally add rhythm to locals' lifestyle. The Mekong, at the edge of Laos and Cambodia, has fascinated generations of explorers throughout the centuries.
This series presents extraordinary people, amazing sagas and the surprising stories of those who reside by these legendary rivers banks.
THE WALL OF DEATH [75’]
Defying the laws of gravity
The motordrome, nicknamed the Wall of Death, is a large circular merry-go-round. Vintage motorbikes ride on its vertical walls, defying the laws of gravity with lightness.
German stuntman Donald Ganlsmeier has been revamping this funfair attraction from the last century.
This film tells the story of how Donald and his team revive this practice and how they embark on a new challenge of mechanical acrobatics with the creation of a special number with 4 bikes.
An improbable and triumphant story
This is the incredible but true story of Wayne Gardner, a kid from Wollongong, a little town of less than 300,000 inhabitants, that no one believed in and who grew up to be the hero who would define an era for Australians. He practiced one of the most dangerous and visually arresting sport on the planet: Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing.
This classic hero’s journey reminds us what it feels like to be the underdog, and yet climb a mountain, win a race or achieve our own individual dreams.
WHO OWNS NATURE? [96’]
A dramatic alpine play
Who owns nature? Are we, as humans, its protectors or destructors?
Mountain goats, bellowing stags, a pack of wolves, forest rangers, farmers, wildlife biologists, hunting opponents, and hunters are all protagonists in a dramatic alpine play.
How should humans deal with nature and wild animals today?
WOLF WALK [90’]
Leaving the pack
What happens to the wolves that leave the pack and how do they survive?
For months, we followed Jean-Michel Bertrand as he conducts a real investigation to understand why young wolves leave the territory where they were born and how these adventurers explore new horizons.
This journey is like a road movie through the most remote regions of the Alps.
YAB YUM [75’]
The rise and fall of the world's most legendary brothel
Yab Yum, Amsterdam's most legendary brothel, was forced to close its doors more than 10 years ago after the exclusive and vibrant club turned into a dodgy criminal hub.
Director Anna Maria van't Hek found those who once worked there, they share with her their turbulent past. They tell their stories, both extravagant and painful, about Yab Yum's glory days and how it all went tragically wrong.