A refreshing approach to documentary filmmaking, Un Film Dramatique made its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival and went on to the Toronto Film Festival as well as the New York Film Festival this fall. Baudelaire also won the Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s biggest art prize.
Commissioned as a dedicated artwork for the newly constructed Dora Maar middle school on the outskirts of Paris, Un Film Dramatique is a portrait that puts a spotlight on the first class to attend the school. Filmed over the course of four years, the group of 21 middle schoolers discuss the drama of their daily lives and experiment with cameras and equipment. The students are not only the film’s subjects but also its makers. The film offers a new perspective on the realities of our current socio-political moment that is both playful and purposeful. As the students debate the approaching elections and the immigration crisis, they also seek to answer a key political question—what are we doing here together?
“We worked with the students in a very open-ended manner, with two guiding principles,” said Baudelaire. “The first was that I wasn’t there to teach them anything. The second was that we would make a film that starts as a film about them, slowly becoming a film made with them, and eventually, after four years, it would end up as a film by them.”
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He adds, “It means a lot to me, and to the students, that this film will reach an American audience.”
The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Baudelaire and Poulet-Malassis.
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