If you want peace, prepare for war

We are very excited indeed that Thierry Garrel will be joining us to tutor our Bridging The Gap Development Workshop in October.

At the age of just twenty years old, Thierry joined the national French TV and radio broadcasting agency, ORTF, before going on to become Head of the Documentary and Junior Authors Division at the 'Institut National de l’Audiovisuel' (INA). From 1987 until 2008, he was the Head of the Documentary Film Department of La Sept and ARTE France, European cultural channel. While in this position, he developed many highly remarked programs and the renowned “GRAND FORMAT” collection which has coproduced and aired over 200 international award-winning feature length documentaries.  

He now works as a Consultant, leading international seminars and workshops which focus on mentoring young documentary creators and professionals.

Read Thierry's reflections on the documentary filmmaker's duty to rebel!



"The camera seems to me, next to unassisted and weaponless consciousness, the central instrument of our time." James Agee

The word 'rebellion' originates from the latin word 'bellum', to mean war.
'Author' originates from the latin word 'augere', meaning 'to add'. 

What is an author? Somebody who adds to the world and always attempts to legitimize his own authority through his own language.

There is no real documentary but « auteur documentary ».

The documentary filmmaker doesn’t accept or recognise any preconceived authority but his : he is the one who goes there, bearing the question, making the true experience of reality in its complexity (spending time and thoughts and understanding) and trying to share it beyond words, beyond prejudices and all manufactured truth or consent, with a viewer – another human being.

He is fighting against any one dimensional truth, he is a fighter, a peaceful warrior for human dignity.

He might bring dissent or trouble and make our beliefs shift and evolve. He might bring light on the most obscure or hidden realities, struggle against oblivion or shed darkness on bright 'idées reçues' or obvious phonies.

He refuses to be docile, submissive to established doxa or to obey aesthetic or social rules : the documentary filmmaker’s task is not to alter the world as the eye sees it into a world of aesthetic reality, but to perceive the aesthetic reality within the actual reality.

The documentary filmmaker merely fighting for good causes is blinding himself (see the very poor cinematic language of most militant films). Let the rebellion be in the way you look at people and things rather than in people and things you look at.

The documentary filmmaker resists to conformism and is rebel to the scripted world we live in.

Therefore, he is by nature and essence, a rebel of our times.