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Public Forum was first launched by the association Les Amis du Cinéma du Réel. Its aim is to investigate issues and demands specific to documentary cinema. Institutions, professional organizations and the French documentary industry at large, as well as international partners and counterparts, are invited to share their experiences and thoughts with a view to working out solutions and reflecting on the future of documentary filmmaking.

To center the debate, exchanges are made to revolve around one key topic. This central theme is chosen by Amis du Cinéma du Réel, which sees to the smooth running of discussions via a work group set up for this purpose. Public Forum’s aim is to highlight various concerns industry players may be grappling with in France, as well as the challenges linked to documentary production. In 2021, Public Forum examined how digital technology has transformed film production and distribution in the context of the public health crisis.

For this 44th edition of Cinéma du Réel, Public Forum will focus on the following question: “Can we still make the films we dream of?”

A number of recent and far-reaching changes have weakened the production of independent films. Taking into account every production stage, from a film’s writing to its release, what are the new conditions shaping the production and existence of these films? What are the obstacles and possibilities at hand? Filmmakers and producers will take an uncompromising look at the prospect of a shared future.

This topic will be at the core of three round-table discussions which will strive to account for the many aspects and complexities of this issue.