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Showcasing contemporary documentary productions from a thriving global scene, Cinéma du réel invites viewers to experience the world and films through a variety of visions, a wide range of practices and a broad mix of cinematic approaches.

The selection of 41 films in competition is driven by this pluralistic vision of ever-expanding documentary creation, and marks a fierce determination to defend the polysemy of a cinema that is developing hybrid forms, transforming itself through contamination and welcoming a rich diversity of narrative approaches and artistic gestures.

Out of competition, we have chosen this year to foreground the direct cinema adventure in Vietnam, supported by the Varan Vietnam collective. Through this direct cinema approach, the adventure also shows how the country has been changing since it opened up in the early 2000s.

“The World, Differently” programme showcases a group of filmmakers, notably Franssou Prenant, Olivier Zabat and Jean-Pierre Gorin, who attempt to distort reality through the mise en scène. Their films resist the narrative conventions, formal standards and a homogenised way of thinking while also reminding us that we all live in the same world.

As for the Popular Front(s) programme, this section questions the way in which we inhabit this world and how, in the face of capitalism, we could strive to work in harmony with the spirit of the earth

So this 45th edition of Cinéma du réel brings together films that are seeking to create a discontinuity in reality. A discontinuity that challenges, surprises, resists, delights – the Festival Conversations will also tackle that question – helps us to avoid being blinded by the darkness, and to look our time in the eyes.

Catherine Bizern.

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