Les États généraux du film documentaire 2007 Sacem Day

Sacem Day

In agreement with Pascale Paulat and the team from the États généraux du film documentaire, we wanted to present you this year with a day around the musical documentary that would be at once new in its approach and choice of films and faithful to the spirit of a meeting point that has become a tradition at Lussas.

To begin with what does not change – I reassure the members of our regular public who need to be –, our programme will be organised as usual around three acts: a homage in the form of a retrospective during the morning screening of Friday August 24th (preceded the previous evening by a case study targeted at professionals), a thematic programme during the afternoon and the awarding of the Sacem* Prize for the year’s best creative musical documentary during the evening.

Also in continuity with what we have done in the past is the opening, initiated several years ago already, which consists in selecting – each time we are so inspired, but in the hope that you will profit from the experience – films whose subject is not exclusively musical but where music plays a vital narrative role.

The novelty of our proposal for this year is not then to be ascribed to the particular tastes of our programmers. It must be sought rather in the works themselves, or more precisely in "the way in which" they came to us, and even before that, the way they came to their creators.

From this point of view, the films we are inviting you to see or see again within this Sacem day share the characteristic of not having been created with the aim of a possible TV broadcast, nor having been in any way formatted or packaged with this perspective in mind.

This is true of the three films by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel we are screening, as it is true of almost all their production, in particular the most recent which has always been started as an independent film production, then possibly sold, once the film completed, to the broadcaster(s) or distributor(s) on the market.

The same thing can be said for On the Rumba River by Jacques Sarasin: this self financed film takes its time and unfurls its narrative like a long, not always peacefully flowing river, much like the life of its main character or the history of the country which it crosses.

It is also the very unique experience communicated by Jacqueline Caux in The Cycles of the Mental Machine of whose subject she is a connoisseur second to none. This film was created in spite of a broadcaster who had nonetheless expressed his "interest", shot and edited finally without the latter’s support and, one might even say, in opposition to it.

No doubt, these films benefited from their authors’ independence when this was an essential demand at the moment of their creation or final editing. It is no less doubtful that the films may have suffered from insufficient funding, in particular in terms of delayed shooting, insufficient scouting and preparation time, and the impossibility of purchasing needed archives.

You have understood, our aim with you at Lussas is not necessarily to sing the praises of the film made without television support or broadcast constraint, nor to inaugurate at the États généraux another "exhibition of films refused by television". We propose to seek to understand together how these films, almost always self-produced, can be as ambitious in their subject as in their form: most often feature length works, sometimes shot on film and having the advantage of an extremely high quality sound mix.

We must keep in mind that if these documentaries are rare, it is not their production conditions which make them exceptional films, so widespread today is the disinterest of television broadcasters for musical documentary. This is perhaps what is at stake in this programme: to show films that have been produced outside the mainstream production circuits because it is via this now almost obligatory alternative production pattern that the musical documentary films we like to see and see again can continue to be made.

Have a good Sacem day, I wish all of you a good festival.

Guests : Débats en présence des réalisateurs, de Serge Lalou (producteur Films d'ici) et d'Olivier Bernard (Directeur de l'Action culturelle de la Sacem).

Remise du prix Sacem du documentaire musical de création vendredi 24 Août à 21 h 15. Projection suivie d'un cocktail.