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Chronology 5

2019 – 2023: The documentary, an ever-expanding universe 

2019: Catherine Bizern succeeds Andrea Picard. New features include a section entitled “Front(s) Populaire(s)” (Popular Fronts), a “Festival Parlé” (Festival Conversations) featuring the contribution of practitioners from a variety of disciplines, and a “Première fenêtre” (First Window) highlighting young filmmakers’ and their first documentary works. The festival opens with Yolande Zauberman’s M, as a premiere before its theatrical release. 

2020: During the opening night, the French President announces that the country will have to shut down to curb the Coronavirus outbreak. The festival closes the next day. The entire competition can be viewed online, on the Tënk platform. The Grand Prix goes to El año del descubrimiento by Spanish filmmaker Luis López Carrasco. 

2021: Second year of COVID : the Centre Pompidou is closed and the festival creates its own television channel with “Canal RÉEL”. Film presentations, debates and conferences are pre-recorded on two sets set up inside the Centre Pompidou and then broadcasted on three channels at a fixed time. The juries watch the competition films in theaters. 

2022: The festival returns to theaters with a spotlight on the burgeoning contemporary African documentary. The festival opens up to students (“Réel Université”), heritage documentaries and exhibitors. The Grand Prix is awarded to a Brazilian film that blurs the line between documentary and fiction, Dry Ground Burning (Mato seco em chamas) by Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós Andrade. 
2023: 45th edition, in the midst of the rallying against pension reform. On Tuesday, March 28th, the festival team joins the national strike and the Paris demonstration procession. The closing film, Orlando : ma biographie politique (Orlando : my political biography) by Paul B. Preciado, creates a buzz beyond the festival itself.