Camille Ponsin is a documentary filmmaker. He seeks out radical immersions in countries where he doesn’t speak the language. He spent a year as a professor in China for The Ladies of Nanjing, creating a portrait of young, modern women attending the world’s oldest university. After this direct cinema experience (hand- held cameras, no voice-over or intervention of the director who acts as a “fly on the wall”), he decided to play a part in the life of his next character – a gypsy that he found on a Delhi sidewalk – for Bollywood Boulevard. The result is even better than Slumdog Millionaire. This year he started a documentary on the ethnologist Marie-José Tubiana and is finishing another on the photographer and artist Bernard Faucon.
Yves Jeuland is a documentary film director: 26 of them so far. He’s also tried print journalism (“I’m too slow”), singing (he does a pretty convincing Montand), and even politics. He ended up making a trilogy of documentaries about power: conquering it (with a film on the race to become mayor of Paris), exercising it (a film on President Hollande at the Elysée), and the end of a rule (of Montpellier’s bigwig, Georges Frêche). He likes to alternate between archives and “fly on the wall” filmmaking, television and cinema, politicians and artists.
is a documentary filmmaker. An expert at news investigations and science-based films, a New York Times article changed her life, sending her down a rabbit hole of historical research, leading her to work on a book, an exhibit and three films: Mina’s Recipe Book and Imaginary Feasts were shown on television and at festivals around the worlds. The Evasions exhibition was inaugurated this April 2018 at Sète’s Musée international des arts modestes. When Anne is not making movies, she fights for the creative rights of filmmakers at France and Belgium’s Civil Society of Multimedia authors, of which she was the president until last year.
Jasna Krajinovic is a documentary filmmaker. At age twenty-two, as the war between Croatia and Bosnia was growing, she decided to embrace cinema as a career, left Ljubljana for Brussels, and was admitted into Belgium’s performing art school, the INSAS. She has since directed films about: uprooted women in Bosnia (Saya and Mira, 2003); deminers in Kosovo (Two Sisters, 2006); a young criminal in Slovenia (Damian’s Room, 2008); a boy as he is turned into a soldier in Russia (A Summer with Anton, 2012); and a jihadist’s mother in Belgium (The Empty Room, 2016). All five of her films have been internationally acclaimed and her last one was produced by “the brothers” – Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne.
is a documentary filmmaker. With Isabelle Dupuy-Chavanat, she spent two years crisscrossing Asia – Japan, Mongolia, Tibet, Laos, India – seeking out rare fabrics and the people who made them. The result was five documentaries for Arte, Weaving the World: A Journey with the Masters. She’s also filmed in Tokyo (Chronicle of a Sumo Wrestler), in a bus full of Chinese tourists traveling across Europe (Journey to the West), and again across Asia (When I Grow Up – six overlapping portraits for the non-profit Enfants du Mékong). Perhaps it all goes back to her childhood, when she moved 17 times before her 15th birthday.
Stéphanie Lebrun is a journalist, documentary film producer, and the cofounder of the Babel Press agency – first established in New Delhi along with friends from France’s great journalism school, the CFJ. Af- ter India, she went on to Brazil, eventually setting up offices for across three continents. The hundreds of films that she’s produced in the past decade include the investigation The War on Polio, filmed in Afghanistan and Pakistan for France 2 and winner of the Prix Albert Londres. She recently started exploring a new continent – the digital one – taking part in the creation of Spicee, an online platform for documentaries.
is a documentary filmmaker. In 2015, he made a film on the history of «imaginative journalism» aka the tabloid press (Sex, Lies and Tabloids for ARTE), for which he interviewed, among others, Kelvin MacKenzie, a former editor of The Sun and a star of inaccurate reporting. «Don’t let the facts ruin a good story» was a classic injunction to his newsroom. Jean-Baptiste also spent a few years interviewing Guy Ribes, an art forger who made Picassos, Renoirs and Matisses for a living, and ended up ghostwriting the forger’s memoirs (Autoportrait d’un faussaire, also published in 2015). He made a film on why Anglos love to hate the French (French Bashing for Canal + in 2014) and recently a documentary on why French people run for president. In a reconstructed (yes, fake) Elysée Palace, he interviewed 18 former candidates to the French presidential elections (Moi, Candidat, for Canal +) but don’t expect him to tell you who will win.