Discovery & Ethnology
Cast off to the South Pacific
This original series goes to the 5 archipelagos of Polynesia, some of these islands being so isolated that their only link with the outside world are schooners, whether traditional craft or vessels at the cutting edge of technology.
Cast off to this part of the South Pacific to find emerald green atolls, paradisiacal lagoons and impenetrable jungles.
AQUARIUMS TO VISIT IN JAPAN [2x30’]
Unique marine exhibits
When it comes to aquariums, Japan holds 2 world records.
In Nagasaki, you can observe no less than 9 species of penguins while in Yamagata 50 species of Jellyfish are there to dazzle you.
BACK TO SEA [52’]
The return of shamanic rituals
These past years, the Moken - once knowned as the sea gypsies of Burma – seemed lost in the big turmoil of globalization. They had largely settled, gradually losing their traditions and idendity. Then, and somewhat mysteriously, shamanic rituals resumed after years of interruption and an increasing number of Moken took to the sea again, embracing the lifestyle of their ancestors.
This film aims to uncover this very peculiar people whose values are so unique.
BAHIA, THE AFRICAN HERITAGE [52’]
The story of the "Bay of All Saints"
In 1500, in the region of Salvador in Brazil, the first Portuguese settlers landed and built their first colonial city: Salvador de Bahia, known as "the Bay of All Saints".
The indigenous tribes were decimated and replaced by African slaves working mainly in mills.
Today, Salvador's African heritage can still be felt in the culture, the music and the arts while its inhabitants strive to perpetuate the memory of their ancestors.
EDOUARD LOUBET AND THE FLAVOURS OF PROVENCE [52’]
When less is more
Edouard Loubet is a celebrated 2 stars French chef, voted Chef of the Year in 2011. His cuisine is as local as you can get and his search for exceptional ingredients leads to a savoury cocktail of flavors.
Both an innovator and guardian of traditions, Edouard Loubet is a proud champion of the flagship ingredients of Provence and their producers who provide the basis for his culinary achievements: truffles, asparagus, cherries, melons, herbs, cheese, wine... They all share the same attributes: simplicity and tasteness.
Discover the magic and beauty of some of the world's most enchanting destinations; their natural wonders, outstanding monuments, their crafts and breathtaking landscapes.
This series is an invitation to travel to the heart of the traditions and peculiarities of the world's most celebrated countries.
FLAVORS OF AFRICA [16x52’]
The wonders of a continent
Discover the richness, magic and beauty of some of Africa's most sought after destinations: their natural wonders and outstanding landmarks, their handicrafts and breathtaking landscapes.
FLAVORS is a memorable journey into the traditions and history of countries everyone is dreaming of visiting.
FLAVORS: THE HALF HOUR COLLECTION [60x26’]
Outstanding destinations. Unforgettable memories.
Discover the richness, magic and beauty of some of the world’s most sought after destinations: their natural wonders and outstanding monuments, their handicrafts and breathtaking landscapes.
FLAVORS is a memorable journey into the traditions and history of countries everyone is dreaming of visiting.
FRENCH MASTERS OF WINE [52’]
The miracle combination of nature and man's know-how
Wine is more than just the simple fermentation process of grape juice. It is the result of a miracle marriage between a gift of nature and human expertise.
Nowadays, wine is part of the cultural and gastronomic heritage of France and vineyards are shaping the landscapes of well-known regions such as Burgundy, Bordeaux or Alsace.
This films takes us to the most prestigious grands crus to meet the men and women behind the nectars connoisseurs the world over rave about.
FROM AFRICA WITH LOVE [8x52’]
The urban boom
What do the names of West African cities such as Dakar, Yaoundé, Cotonou, Bamako or Abidjan bring to mind?
FROM AFRICA WITH LOVE offers an immersion in these big cities that just want to be seen in a different light by focusing on their assets.
Combining tradition and modernity, this series presents an urban and booming Africa.
ICONIC POLYNESIA [6x13’]
The wonders of Tahiti and its islands
ICONIC POLYNESIA is a series of short films highlighting practices as well as cultural and tourist sites among the most emblematic of Tahiti and its islands.
Each episode highlights the wonders of Polynesia, with breathtaking images, accompanied by the words of those who bring these places to life. They share a culture, know-how and environment that have elicited dreams in many who haven’t had a chance to visit.
IRAN, THE LAST GREAT NOMADS [52’]
An exhausting and spectacular transhumance
In central Iran, the mountains of Zagros are the domain of the Bakhtiaris, one of the last great nomads.
They are proud shepherds who still practice a long, exhausting and spectacular transhumance. They remain attached to centuries of traditions as well as a way of life dating back from ancient Persia.
These majestic valleys framed by mountains and glaciers present an unexpected image of Iran.
ISLAND OF THE SUNKEN CITY [52’]
A different Japan
Yonaguni is one of the smallest inhabited islands and the most western point of Japan’s archipelago, much closer to Taiwan than Tokyo.
Its remoteness gives the place a singular dimension embodied in a dramatic past as well as in traditions which have all but vanished in the Northern islands. One can find there an endemic species of small horses or puzzling underwater stone structures deemed, by some people, to be the remains of an antic suken city.
Between legend and reality, tiny Yonaguni offers diverse facets, the most intriguing one being the discovery of a Japan caught in a time warp.
LANDS OF THE EARTH [24x90’]
Exploring with wide open eyes
Today, exploring the world doesn’t have the same meaning as in the past. Indeed, very few corners of the planet remain unknown, although it would be wise for them to stay so.
With infinite passion and curiosity, the directors of these films brought back from their travels images of small villages whose beauty has gone unnoticed, touching encounters and fascinating stories.
On foot, by train or boat, we explore the world with wide open eyes.
12 episodes available as 52'
LANDS OF THE EARTH : THE 52' COLLECTION [12x52’]
Exploring with wide open eyes
Today, exploring the world doesn’t have the same meaning as in the past. Indeed, very few corners of the planet remain unknown, although it would be wise for them to stay so.
With infinite passion and curiosity, the directors of these films brought back from their travels the discovery of small villages whose beauty had gone unnoticed, touching encounters and fascinating stories.
On foot, by train or by boat, these modern explorations are done with wide open eyes.
LOVE IN THE CITY [4x52’]
Our cities are made of stones, shaped by wars, emperors or presidents, designed for business, politics or faith. But there might be another way to tell the story of our streets, buildings and monuments.
Nowadays, lovers travel the world to share their love and thus create a new romantic topography of cities.
Our journeys show how love shapes the environment and what lovers need to know to prepare for the perfect romantic holiday in Paris, Mexico City, Rio and New York.
MACAU FROM ABOVE [52’]
East meets west
Discover in the most scenic way a unique place in Asia.
Macau might be tiny but it has an incredibly rich cultural history which streches from old European colonial heritage to Chinese modernity.
Showcasing quaint Portuguese architecture, glizting casinos and a futurist skyline, this one-of-a-kind destination, where east meets west, is revealed from a bird’s eye perspective.
MASTERS OF CHEESE [52’]
An ancestral and authentic produce
For a long time, cheese has been an ancestral and authentic produce, demanding a real savoir faire and a deep knowledge of pasture and cattle. Today however its production is largely industrialized, leading to a loss of taste.
From the Roquefort cellars to the Swiss mountain pastures, this film introduces us to die-hard farmers who hold this fine produce into their heart. These passionate people devote their time to protect local traditions and give us an insight on how they achieve the making of exceptional cheese.
MASTERS OF CHOCOLATE [52’]
Artisans in search of rare beans
The Mayas and the Aztecs were the first people to treasure the cocoa bean which they believed possessed divine powers. Since then, chocolate has become a universal product and a source of gustative pleasure.
From the African archipelago of Sao Tome and Principe to the Peruvian edge of the Amazon forest and Madagascar, this film follows artisans of premium chocolate on their quest for rare beans which they will transform into divine delicacies.
A visually striking and mouth watering journey.
MASTERS OF HONEY [52’]
An universal ingredient
One of the oldest contribution from Nature to Mankind, honey is one of the few ingredients to be truly universal. Everywhere it is part of the culinary heritage and can be found on the menus of the best chefs as well as on the shelves of local markets.
From Corsica and Provence to the Greek island of Ikaria and the eastern mountains of Kackar in Turkey, we meet passionate beekeepers extracting exceptional honeys with unique taste and texture.
Visit incredible landscapes to discover the tasty world of the masters of honey.
MASTERS OF RICE [52’]
A grain with many faces
Rice is one of the most widely consumed staple food. It may look like a deceptively simple grain but it requires grueling work to grow, harvest and process.
This film takes us on a rice journey deeply rooted in Asia where we discover local customs around this "common" grain: in Thailand people massage their babies with rice milk; Japan produces wine from it to create the famous sake; in India farmers grow the Navara, a very original variety with an unique taste and medicinal virtues.
MASTERS OF SAVOURS [10x52’]
The taste of Nature
Nature has provided Humanity with edible plants offering an infinity of tastes and sensations. Over the centuries, with patience and passion, man has developed a know-how to transform them into exceptional food.
This series is about the men and women who have learned how to magnify different ingredients to please the palates of discerning gourmets.
This unique collection is a culinary exploration of the world, taking us from vineyards to rice fields and deep forests to discover authentic lifestyles and stunning landscapes.
MASTERS OF THE TRUFFLE [52’]
The secrets of the "black diamond"
In just a few years, the truffle has grown from being a simple scented mushroom to becoming the highly coveted "black diamond". Indeed, it has made a remarkable and unprecedented ascension into the world of luxury and haute cuisine.
France and Italy occupy a dominant position on the truffle market where prices keep breaking records year after year. But other countries are emerging such as Spain or, more surprisingly, the state of Oregon in the USA.
This film takes us around the world to understand the secrets of this precious tuber.
MASTERS OF VANILLA [52’]
The favorite spice of lovers of sweet things
It is one of the favorite spices of lovers of sweet things. Its evocative name is synonymous with subtle aromas.
However, it must be authentic because for purists, like pastry chefs or ice-cream makers, vanilla can only be natural. Unfortunately, the market has gone wild and artificial flavor retailers are everywhere.
This film takes us on a journey from Madagascar's primary forests to the islands of Polynesia where growers have one obsession: to magnify this green vine for the pleasure of our taste buds.
MEKONG, MOTHER OF ALL RIVERS [52’]
Life along the banks
The Mekong river runs over 5,000 km and across 6 countries: China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam where it ends with its famous delta.
For hundreds of years, it has provided shelter, food and all kind of natural resources to over 60 million people who lived in harmony with the generous mother of all rivers. However, with the rapid growth that South East Asia is experiencing, as witnessed by the ever increasing constructions and economic development projects, the fragile balance of communities living by and from its waters is at stake.
Facing a threat as well as an opportunity, the future of the Mekong lies in the diversity of the cultures and the beauty of its landscapes shaped both by the river and its inhabitants.
Miyabori is a traditional wood carving technique used in Japanese temples and shrines.
It’s an obscure and underrated form of art which has been offered a new lease on life thanks to long trained and skillful masters.
Elizabeth Tinsley, a specialist in Buddhist culture and former fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is exploring landmarks as well as workshops of Miyabori master carvers to unveil this Japanese hidden treasure which might have inspired Hokusai’s Great Wave.
MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN JAPAN [6x30’]
From the Edo era to the more recent industrial period
Japan has a long and rich history covering many areas and the best way to approach these many facets is to visit the museums scattered around the country.
This series spans the Edo era to the more recent industrial period.
MUSTANG, THE HORSES KINGDOM [52’]
A spectacular and ancestral migration
The Mustang region spans about 80 kilometers north-east of Nepal. Every year, villagers of this kingdom surrounded by mountains bring their horses south to escape the winter’s harshness.
We follow these men through this spectacular and ancestral migration, crossing remote and beautiful valleys, discovering old villages and always with the majestic peaks of the Himalayas in the background.
PEARL RIVER DELTA: THE GREATER BAY AREA [4x52’]
A sprawling megalopolis
The mighty Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province, China, is one of the world most populated and fastest growing delta regions in the world.
This series follows the course of the country third largest river system, from the mountains to the sea, where clusters of cities have connected to form a megalopolis now referred to as the Greater Bay Area.
It explores how rivers and ancient canals linked old travel routes and pastural lands with historical cities, villages and towns, and how they have been replaced by sprawling interlinking roads and rail networks, creating a mosaic of land and water that feeds a thriving vibrant population.
POLYNESIA FROM ABOVE [2x52’]
A world fantasized by novelists, sailors, painters and adventurers
On the one hand, Tahiti, the largest and best known of the islands of French Polynesia, the gateway to a dream world, fantasized by novelists, sailors, painters and adventurers.
On the other, the Austral archipelago, considered as the breadbasket of Polynesia. The landscape is quite different with few beaches and lagoons and a cooler climate. Even though these islands may seem less attractive at first, they conceals countless secrets and wonders.
POLYNESIA, THE QUEST FOR ORIGINS [52’]
The ancestry of the people of Tahiti
Where do the people from French Polynesia come from? South America, as the Kon-Tiki tried to prove? Alaska? South-East Asia?
This mystery is compounded by another more recent one. How did the numerous Chinese come to play a key role in the island demography?
Through Teiva's quest, a young Polynesian dancer, and Kyle's, a chinese boy in high school, this film is a fascinating ethnological study with a surprising result; even though everything seems to set them apart, they are actually cousins since their ancestors came at different times from... China !
RETRO ARCHITECTURE TOWNS [2x30’]
Yokohama and Tokyo have always been business centers and trading bases since the early Meiji period.
Some neighbourhoods have kept their historical architecture, making them testimonies of the time passing by, while subjected to the influence of modern western-style buildings.
SACRED PILGRIMAGE IN NEPAL [52’]
In Nepal, ancestral customs are the highlights of numerous religious festivals that attract huge crowds. They take place in magnificent temples where sadhus, monks who have renounced all material ties, officiate.
We follow Shivadas who treks along dizzyingly steep trails in the Langtang mountains for a spectacular pilgrimage.
His destination is the lake of Gosaikunda, at an altitude of 4,380m, to honor the god Shiva.
SAINT BRANDON, THE LOST ARCHIPELAGO [52’]
The heavenly islets
The Saint Brandon archipelago, off the coast of Madagascar, is part of Mauritius Island. It’s a shoal of thirty tiny islets, some of them barely sandbars.
This lost heaven accommodates only birds and about a dozen fishermen and is so remote that it only appears on a limited number of marine maps.
Saint Brandon is a magical and pristine place under threat, hosting unconventional inhabitants craving for an authentic and timeless lifestyle.
THE GENUINE DRIED TANGERINE PEEL [4x25’]
A small piece can arouse homesickness
This series introduces the intricate relationship between an icon of traditional ingredients and people from China or abroad.
From Xinhui to Paris, Hong Kong, the United States or Singapore, each episode explores a different theme: the merit of dried tangerine peel, the history of its production, its innovative use and the nostalgia it begets.
THE KINGDOM OF MANASLU [52’]
A natural gem between heaven and earth
In the heart of the Himalayas, the Nepalese region of Manaslu is a natural gem between heaven and earth.
Here, Man and Nature coexist since the dawn of time. Humans and animals have learned to adapt and survive under the most extreme conditions.
These valleys - still secluded not long ago – are opening to the outside world and the local communities try, often successfully, to control these unavoidable mutations and maintain their traditional lifestyle while adjusting to modernity.
THE TAIGA ERMIT [52’]
Between 2 worlds
Deep in the Indian Cree territory, in the Canadian taiga, a man has chosen to live in isolation in the heart of nature and away from the modern world.
This film follows him in his daily life and in his spiritual journey that leads him to reflect on the evolution of Western societies and their impact on the environment.
An authentic film of striking beauty.
A Buddhist paradise
Built in 1236, the Tofukuji temple is the largest Zen temple of Japan with 19 statues of Buddha, the Sanmon Gate designated as National Treasure, 3 wooden bridges and nearly 2,000 maples trees.
The combination of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage makes it a Buddhist paradise through the magical changing of the seasons.
A UNESCO Intangible World Heritage
Washoku is a social practice based on a set of skills and traditions related to the preparation and consumption of food usually visible during New Year's Day celebrations when the Japanese prepare various dishes to welcome the deities of the New Year.
It is associated with a fundamental principle of respect for nature closely linked to the sustainable use of natural resources.
WITHOUT RIGHTS OR TITLES [52’]
The people of the Lencois National Park in Brazil
In 1981, Brazil created the Lencois National Park in the state of Maranhão which is home to an ecosystem unique in the world: pristine white sand dunes that wave for tens of kilometers, punctuated by lakes of fresh water and deserted beaches where turtles and birds take refuge.
Communities have lived here for more than 200 years but the government would like them to leave because the country’s environmental law does not allow anyone to live in natural parks.
This film meets these inhabitants, sheltered in shacks without running water or electricity, who make ends meet with fishing and a little farming.
A BAMBOO JOURNEY [52’]
High energy for a slow trip
Bamboo scaffolding can be seen everywhere across Asia. This essence of wood is also the most versatile construction material for tropical climate such as in Bangladesh.
In this overpopulated country there is a huge demand for bamboo which is grown in the north where it is cut and consolidated into massive rafts. They are then floated down rivers toward Dakha, the capital, during a perilous journey which takes several weeks under the guidance of experienced and intrepid men.
A CIRCUS IN THE ARCTIC [2x52’]
The organization “les Robinsons des Glaces” visits local populations who are seeing their way of life disappear.
The goal of PROJECT CIRQ’ARTIC is to help young Inuits to reconnect with their traditions by promoting cultural transmission through live performances.
During summer, the organization went to isolated villages on the east coast of Greenland to introduce young people to the circus and performing arts in order to present a show in front of the entire community.
A CRAZY DAY IN... [16x52’]
A vivid and eventful visit
An extraordinary and spectacular experience seen through the eyes of our host and his various guides, this series is a collection of madcap city guides.
In every episode, we find ourselves in places gripped by delightful insanity. The most humdrum tourist activities - visiting a museum, admiring a monument, wandering round a picturesque old quarter, tasting local delicacies - become a one-off festive adventure.
A HOUSE OF ITS TIME [8x24’]
Asia heritage residences
This architecture series highlights the magnificent residential heritage houses of Asia like the black-and-white houses of colonial Singapore, the joglos in Indonesia, the plantation bungalows in Malaysia or the country manors in Sri Lanka.
Architects, historians and conservationists let us in on the building secrets of these houses, while residents share personal life stories within these walls.
A WINTER WITH THE MOUNTAIN NOMADS [45’]
Another face of Afghanistan
There is a valley in Afghanistan that has never seen war, a strip of land that unfolds amid high mountains. Here, the last remaining Kyrgyz nomads live isolated, 4,000 meters high.
For 2 winter months, a Western woman stayed in their camps. She arrives there with great expectations but these are quickly stifled.
This film is her discreet glimpse into an unfamiliar and harsh world.
ANGOLA, THE FORGOTTEN TRIBES [52’]
An ethnological marvel
Cut off from the rest of the world and the country’s recent economic takeoff, southern Angola’s tribes have kept alive customs and lifestyles from another age.
Very few people have been able to approach the Mucawana and the Mucubal, forgotten ethnic groups which were last mentioned in travel books dating back to the 30’s.
ARCHEOLOGEEKS IN BAGAN [45’]
Bringing an universal heritage back to life
Some buildings, sites and structures are historical wonders. Their very names are legendary and their stories epic and surprising.
Yet, these treasures are threatened by wars, financial pressure, property developers and climate hazards.
Today, a new breed of archeologists is using modern technologies to bring this universal heritage back to life, turning them into "archeologeeks". They make the impossible possible by bringing these hidden treasures back to life.
ARMENIA: THE LAND OF NOAH [52’]
Hidden treasures of Eastern Europe
Infinite horizons. Miracles of nature. Historical cathedrals. Mythological temples. Sacred mountains. Prehistoric mysteries. Art, faith and devotion. Thousand-year-old traditions. These are just few descriptions of Armenia.
This country is located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and shares borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.
To visit this small kingdom of wonders is to discover one of Europe’s most fascinating enclaves.
ARTISANS REBOOT [8x26’]
A novice takes on an artisanal trade
Changing times and mass production have driven artisans to the edge of extinction.
This series challenges a new generation to learn from the older craftsmen and save them from oblivion. Each episode features a beginner taking on an artisanal trade. At the end of the apprenticeship and with only weeks of training, they must give their newly learned work a new lease on life.
With crafts ranging from ink stick making to drum tuning, these novices are in on one of the greatest challenges of their lives.
ASIAN WATER TALES [4x52’]
A resource for many human activities
From the somptuous Mekong to the vast Indian Ocean, water is at the center of an infinity of human activities in Asia, be it fishing, transportation or agriculture.
Man has used its ingenuity to make the most of it to the point of sometimes endangering this precious natural resource.
This series travels from India to Vietnam to showcase the extraordinary alliance between Man and Water through portraits of ordinary people and their traditional lifestyles caught in a modern world.
BAMBOO BRIDGE [63’]
Every dry season, a 1.5km bamboo bridge, the longest in the world, is built across the Mekong River in Cambodia and every year, it is dismantled in the wake of the monsoon tides.
Not long ago, the bridge was built for the last time and replaced by a concrete one financed by Chinese investors.
Three generations of Cambodian workers tell a story of social transformation during times of unstoppable environmental and social change.
BANGKOK BITES [52’]
Death lurks underground
Bangkok is a world metropolis. On the surface, the inhabitants of this tropical Manhattan teem furiously under the sun, but, unlike other big cities, below ground, in dark corners and the damp of the canals, death lurks. Millions of snakes and other venomous creatures lie in wait for prey, ready to strike when disturbed.
In this film, we get to know these fascinating animals and try to understand why they bite, sting and kill. It does not simply send shivers down our spine, it also shows us how each animal, in its own way, plays a part in the grand balance of the living world.
BLUE OCEAN [19x26’]
The aquatic activities of the Polynesians
The occupation of many Polynesians is directly linked to the lagoons and the ocean, whether in the fields of economy, tourism, environment, scientific research, culture or leisure.
This series is dedicated to them.
BOLLYWOOD ON THE ROAD [52’]
The silver screen escape
On May 21, 1913, India screened its first film: “Raja Harishchandra“.
A hundred years later, the movie industry has grown into a colossal institution. Every day, 30 million people flock to the theaters which sell 5 billion tickets every year.
For Indians, movies are more than just entertainment. It is a sacred ritual. A chance to dream and forget their daily lives in the company of the greatest Bollywood stars.
BORN POLYNESIANS [52’]
The essence of the myth on Tahiti
“Vahine” means woman in Polynesian. But the word, associated to a myth forged by foreigners, has become almost embarrassing to use in Tahiti.
Even though Polynesian women are indeed beautiful and welcoming, they are more into substance than looks.
This film presents some of these women: dancer, writer, herbalist or politician. All of them play a key role in Polynesian society, especially in the preservation of its traditions and the integrity of its language and cultural identity.
BORNEO DEATH BLOW [52’]
A blowpipe-hunter tribe uncertain future
The Borneo island is home to the Penan, a blowpipe-hunter tribe. They use deadly poison darts to catch their preys and are experts at building rainproof shelters in under an hour.
Their survival skills, nomadic culture and traditional knowledge enable them to be the last tribe remaining in one of the oldest and most diverse rainforests on Earth.
However, with around 90% of the forest cut down, the Penan are facing a dire future.
BOUKOUT, A RITE OF PASSAGE [52’]
The initiation into the secrets of life
Diassy is a Diola. The Diolas live in Casamance, the southern region of Senegal. They have always been farmers; it is even said that they were the first to plant rice in West Africa.
They also have strong traditions, the Boukout being perhaps the most significant of them all. One does the Boukout to become a man, to be initiated into the secrets of life. This rite, which only takes place far and wide and attracts thousands of people, will allow Diassy to take his place in society.
BRAZIL'S CONQUEST [10x26’]
Thanks to horses, man has been able to venture further and further
The horse is the common vector to the conquest of Brazil; it allowed man to venture always further in search of wealth.
As centuries went by, horses adapted to the various regions they settled in, resulting today in 10 different breeds. This constitutes the backbone of this series, with each episode dedicated to one kind of horse.
The way men use horses today is still closely related to the vastly diversified geographical and climatic conditions of the country and the animals enjoy a special relationship with different chapters of its history.
BRAZILIAN MAZURKA [52’]
Memories of a Polish community
In South Brazil, the city of Aura is almost entirely populated with descendants of a Polish community which settled here in 1911. Today, some of them try to keep that history alive so that the grit of these pioneers and the difficulties they had to overcome may serve as an example to all.
A century is conjured up through recollections and reenacments: sick children, clashes with German immigrants during the war and the courage it took to build a new life in a far away and hostile land.
The youngest have forgotten their history and blended into Brazilian culture, but some seek to preserve the memory of an epic adventure that defines them.
BRAZILIAN THIRST [52’]
Amongst thorny trees, the land of the Brazilian Robin Hood
Brazil is known as the most water rich country in the world. Nevertheless, the Nordeste suffers chronic droughts.
The Sertao, more particularly, is an unforgiving region covered with caatinga, a thorny vegetation in which one can raise only a few animals.
It was here that Lampiao, the most famous Brazilian bandit, was born. He stole from the wealthy farmers and redistributed part of his loot to the poor. His legend is controversial, but he is considered a pure product of this hostile environment.
BUKAS & JOINTS [65x26’]
Africa no.1 food and travel show
BUKAS & JOINTS is Africa no.1 food and travel show that takes viewers on a journey across the continent, exploring and showcasing the rich taste and delight of the local cuisine and culture.
The series goes beyond the food to interact with the vibrant heritage rooted in the places visited.
CAMEL SHEPHERDS [52’]
Living into the heart of the Sahara
Southern Morocco is a desert region where Sahrawis live. Several families still practice camel farming there, which allows them to produce milk and meat.
Imam, Hadrami and Moulay belong to the Oulad Sbaa tribe, founded in the 16th century, whose members were Bedouins. They criss-cross the desert with their animals between winter and summer quarters.
We share their daily routine in search of water and food for their herd, in harmony with the elements of the desert. Nature here, seemingly hostile, but reveals unsuspected life for those who know how to adapt.
CHHAU NACH, ON THE ROAD TO JHARKHAND [52’]
The modernizing of a traditional art
An Italian choregraph travels to the Indian tribal areas of West Bengal and Jharkhand, home of an exhausting male dance using enormous masks.
Like India, this spectacular art form is in mutation, opening to foreigners and female performers.
This film is a colorful journey and a reflexion at how traditional art can benefit from modernity.
COBRA GYPSIES [52’]
The Roma ancestors
COBRA GYPSIES offers a colorful window into the startling ancient culture of the nomadic Kalbeliya tribes living in rural Rajasthan, Northern India. A decade ago, their folk songs and dances were declared a part of the Intangible Heritage List by the Unesco.
This film explores their culture of eternal dance, syncopated music, snake charming, colorful fashion as well as their way of life.
These exotic looking castoffs are the ancestors to the Roma Gypsies living in Europe today.
Unusual public transportation
Asia is home to some of the most unique means of transportation. Some are relics of a bygone era while others are products of inventiveness in the face of desperation.
All of these weird and wonderful machines are icons of a community, embodying a culture’s identity.
CROSSROADS is a series that revels in folksy transports and the spirit that lives within them; painting a portrait of societies in transition as modernization renders these machines, carriages, vessels… almost irrelevant, even out of place amidst these technology driven times.
CRYING OUT LOUD [4x26’]
Tears for sale
The role of professional mourners is dwindling as funeral rites get more sober.
CRYING OUT LOUD, filmed in India, Vietnam, China and Singapore, profiles people who cry for a living.
DEFINITELY FRENCH [6x26’]
A British view on France and its inhabitants
Who are the French? Why are they so peculiar? This country seems to relish standing apart for the better or for the worse.
In this series, a very British director digs into the French paradox by taking an offbeat tour of its quirkiest traditions. There will be plenty of action: snail racing, frog jumping, duck plucking and lemon sculpting. Last but not least, we pay homage to cheese and worship at the temple of wine.
Funny. Surprising. Offbeat. Delectable. Outlandish. This is France like you've never seen it before.
Also available as 30x5'
DISCOVERING CHILE [3x52’]
A historical, ethnographic and political approach
This series explores the cultural diversity of Chile from an historical point of view, through the myths and legends of Easter Island, an ethnographic one, through the traditions and rituals of the Tapati festival and, finally, a political one with the Carnival of Arica where the Andean peoples come down to demand, through dance, a better inclusion of minorities.
DIVING WITH CROCODILES [52’]
Close encounters on the wild side
Bernie is a television reporter who has covered wars, infiltrated jails and rubbed shoulders with men and women studying the deadliest predators. Adrenaline is his fuel yet he has never felt so vulnerable than when facing a Nile crocodile. It is a formidable killing machine living in Botswana and responsible for over 2,000 deaths every year.
Vince Shacks is a scientist who doesn’t hesitate to risk his life to observe these dangerous predators up close by swimming next to them in the Okavango river.
Bernie will be diving with him along side 5 meters long specimens in an effort to better understand their behavior. An indispensable task in order to make man and crocodile coexist.
FOR ART’S SAKE [7x45’]
Mixing the old with the new
From the jungles of Borneo and Papua New Guinea, the cultural bylanes of Indonesia and Thailand, from the age-old Geisha tradition in Japan to bold experiments in Singapore, outstanding people are breaking new grounds and pushing the limits, just FOR ART’S SAKE.
The best kept secret in the Caucasus
Situated at a strategic crossroad between Europe and Asia, Georgia has been invaded by Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Bolsheviks; but no one has been able to crush the energy and artistic creativity of a people who consider dance and vines the expression of its identity.
Despite this troubled history, the country has been able to protect its heritage and maintain the vibrancy of its unique traditions. It is home to a biodiversity greater than that of some continents and of Homo Georgicus, the first European human known to this day.
The soul of Georgia is both European and western but with a touch of Mediterranean expansiveness. A surprising combination making it a land to discover.
GRAB AND RUN [52’]
Abducted into marriage
Since Kyrgyzstan gained its independence in 1991, there has been a revival of the ancient practice of Ala-Kachuu, which translates roughly as "grab and run".
More than half Kyrgyz women get married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands. Some escape after having endured violent ordeals, but most yield to tradition and fear of scandal. Although the practice is said to have its root in nomadic customs, it remains at odds with modern Kyrgyzstan.
Even if Ala-Kachuu has been outlawed during the Soviet era and is still illegal nowadays, the law is rarely enforced.
Also available as a 90'
GREENLAND: WHERE ICEBERGS ARE BORN [52’]
The white adventure of a father and his 2 sons
Somewhere in the Great North there is a secret place where icebergs come to life. This is where the icecap frees them and let them drift as ephemeral giants of the oceans.
Pierre and his two sons, aged 11 and 15, have decided to reach this magical location.
This 400 kms journey sees them facing menacing icy storms through white bears territory. In doing so they write one of the most glorious pages of recent Arctic history showing that human warmth and solidarity can brave the harshest conditions.
HANIEF, LORD OF KASHMIR [52’]
Job hopping in the Himalayas
Mohamad Hanief shares his life between the valley of Kashmir, where his family resides, and Gulmarg, a mountain resort perched at an altitude of 3,000 meters on the slopes of the Himalayas. Despite being located in one of the most militarized area in the world, Gulmarg is very popular year round with affluent Indian tourists.
Mohamad has a very contrasted lifestyle over the course of a year. He is a farmer in the valley in spring and autumn and becomes a horse and ski instructor as well as a mountain guide during summer and winter. Indeed, nobody knows these mountains better than him.
Torn between his aspiration for a traditional lifestyle close to nature and the necessity to adapt to the changing economy of the region, Mohamad has developed his own philosophy which, intertwined with his passion for the Himalayas, has made of him a figure for people around him.
HIMALAYAS, THE LOST VALLEYS OF PALDAR [52’]
The majesty of the mountains
In the heart of the Himalayas, there are still some forgotten valleys such as those of Paldar. Hard to reach, they were known for their Sapphire mines, but the 1990’s Kashmir conflict plunged into oblivion this singular region nicknamed "the Himalayan Switzerland" because of its picturesque landscapes.
Rigzen Tsewang, who lives in Zanskar, has decided to travel to Paldar through the imposing Omasila pass, nestled 5,400m high. As our guide, he leads us to exceptionally well preserved villages where Hinduism adds a very colorful dimension, especially during the Nague Festival which celebrates the beginning of the harvest.
My roots are here
Home. There is no place like it anywhere in the world. Cooking, eating, resting… it is at home that the simple activities of life occur, forming the everyday scenes that, however, differ from place to place.
Homes could be mud huts in the grasslands, bamboo houses over the waters or wooden ones in the mountains. All of them reflect a culture, a people and way of life.
This very unique series unveils the philosophies of living for families from Burma to Japan and the Philippines to Korea.
HOMES OF BRAZIL [10x26’]
Welcome into my world
In Brazil, every city has its own atmosphere, style and charm. You can visit all the landmarks you want but how often are you allowed to enter private homes? Who wouldn’t want to push open some of these closed doors to peek inside and discover firsthand what’s behind the façades?
HOMES of BRAZIL is your key to these places. This beautifully shot series is a memorable encounter with passionate owners, talented architects and creative craftsmen.
From modernist houses to colonial mansions, from the favellas to luxurious beach houses, from futurist Rio and Sao Paulo to laidback sea resort Paraty and the legendary Gold Route, this series is an unique mix of travel and architecture.
HORSES BY THE THOUSANDS [52’]
A gaucho celebration
Every year, in Tacuarembo, in the North of Uruguay, the gauchos gather to celebrate their culture and traditions. This event is called the “patria gaucha".
For a week, they engage in all sorts of equestrian games, for all to admire their skills.
People come from all over the country, even from Brazil and Argentina, to witness historical reenactments produced by organisations that compete for a very coveted title.
IGUAZU FALLS, BEHIND THE SCENES [52’]
Balancing nature and onlookers
Bordering 3 countries, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, the Iguazu Falls are considered the most breathtaking in the world and the Iguazu National Park has been designated one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. But with nearly 1 million yearly visitors, it faces quite an ecological challenge.
The Guarani Indians have fallen victims to this booming industry. They had to sell their lands to hotel groups. Nowadays, they eke out a living no longer fishing or hunting but making handicrafts for tourists.
This film is about the men and women trying to preserve the delicate balance between preserving the nature and tending to the visitors’ curiosity.
IN THE HEART OF THE MEKONG DELTA [52’]
A vital plain
Formed by the muddy deposits carried by one of the biggest river in the world, the Mekong delta is characterized by its extraordinary fertility. Here Nature is overwhelming and the vegetation exuberant.
Its 9 branches delineate a vast and extremely fertile plain crossed by a dense network of canals plied by legions of boats.
This vast area known as the Vietnam rice bowl has been good to Man and animals alike. Indeed, despite its agricultural development, the Mekong delta has a very important and vibrant biodiversity.
ISLAND OF THE KING BUFFALO [52’]
An ubiquitous creature
Marajo is the world’s biggest river island, nestled at the mouth of the Amazon.
This is a place out of time where being laidback is a way of life. People brace themselves for a hypothetic touristic boom while raising a singular animal which ended there 200 years ago : the buffalo.
This quiet creature has become ubiquitous and plays a central role in the local life, even allowing Marajo to have its own, if atypical, mounted police.
JAPAN BY GERARD DEPARDIEU [5x26’]
A globetrotting movie star
French actor Gérard Depardieu is an experienced globetrotter and a lover of Japan. He even once owned a Japanese grocery store in Paris. In this series, he offers a new way to look at the land of the Rising Sun.
He takes us to 5 different regions to discover their inhabitants, their activities, but above all the ancestral traditions that embody the soul of the country.
From geisha art to Zen temples, including the making of washi paper, the actor meets a people deeply attached to its roots, while leaving room for the unexpected in their inspirations.
JOURNEY ALONG THE LOIRE RIVER [2x52’]
Drifting on the river of the Kings
The last untamed great river of Western Europe, the Loire is the symbolic partition between Northern and Southern France.
Drifting from where it originates all the way to where it ends in the Atlantic Ocean, is an exhilarating journey through many unexpected landscapes, rich natural environment and tasty local specialties.
But the Loire is also the river of the kings meandering past the most prestigious castles of France.
KUMBH MELA [52’]
The biggest and most colorful pilgrimage on earth
For Hindus, the once every 12 years Kumbh Mela is the ultimate pilgrimage. It is during this event that the Amrita, the precious nectar of immortality, resurfaces from one of India’s sacred rivers.
During Kumbh Mela, the city of Allahabâd and its 1.5 million residents inflates uncontrollably during two months with up to 70 million visitors to become the largest human gathering in the world.
This exceptional film unveils the infinite diversity of Hinduism and its most colorful and disconcerting forms of worship.
The Land of a Million Elephants
Nestled between Thailand, Viet Nam and China, Laos was for a very long time a country shrouded in mystery, cut off from the outside world.
Today, it is a dream-like destination thanks to a population made up of 130 ethnic groups living harmoniously as well as stunning nature and landscapes.
Stretched over 1000 km from North to South, the Land of a Million Elephants is the hidden gem of Southeast Asia.
LAOS, ALONG THE MEKONG [52’]
The Land of a Million Elephants
In the shadows of its giant neighbors, Vietnam and Thailand, Laos is one of the best kept secrets of Southeast Asia. Low key but full of treasures, "the Land of a Million Elephants" offers a multitude of exhilarating experiences from the old-fashioned charm of its capital, Vientiane, to the stunning temples of Luang Prabang, the royal city nestled in the meanders of the Mekong river.
Laos is also a land of mountains and high plateaus ad the home to ethnic minorities such as the Hmong who have remained faithful to their ancestral lifestyle.
Exploring Laos is like revisiting an eternal and fantasized Asia of a bygone era.
LEGEND OF FRUITS [6x35’]
The wonders of nature's diversity
This series tells the unique stories of more than 40 different kinds of fruits from all corners of the world.
Shot across 15 countries and 50 cities, we explore the how and why of our relationship to fruits and our love for them.
Thanks to cutting-edge technology and breakthrough images, the secret world of fruits is displayed in full vividness showcasing nature’s diversity and man’s creativity.
LEGENDS OF EUROPE [12x52’]
Mystical and fantasy tales
This series take a new, almost magical, look at European heritage driven by a newfound interest for the fantastic dimension of its age-old legends. Whether frightening or surprising, these stories, inspired by natural splendours, are, at once, mystical and obscure enigmas to decipher.
Pirates, satanic beasts, enchanted forests, petrified shepherds, bewitched lakes, amphibian monsters or captive princesses are the heroes of this saga which, from North to South and from East to West, takes a new look at Europe.
LEGENDS OF FRANCE [12x52’]
A magical look at the French regional heritage
This series takes a different, magical look at the French regional heritage by responding to a new fascination for the fantastic dimension of our age-old legends.
Whether frightening or surprising, these stories, inspired by the natural splendours of the landscapes of France, are as many mystical and obscure enigmas to decipher.
Corsairs, satanic beasts, enchanted forests, petrified shepherds, bewitched lakes, amphibian monsters, or captive princesses, are the heroes of this saga which, from North to South and from East to West, takes a new perspective on France.
MADE IN KYOTO [25x26’]
A culture of craftsmanship and excellence
Kyoto's allure lies not only in its shrines and temples or the elegance of the city.
Since the year 794, Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan, leading the way in the arts, architecture and commerce. The essence of the country’s culture was born in this very town and has been refined and passed down.
This series introduces artistry at its best created and nurtured by the local masters who know true craftsmanship and excellence.
MAGNIFICA ITALIA [68x26’]
The most beautiful country from above
This blue chip series offers a unique perspective on Italy and its splendor. The country is mainly seen from above, coming back to earth only to share a few moments with craftsmen, artists, cooks...
From Venice to Rome, through Sicily and Tuscany, each episode is a unique journey revealing Italy's most beautiful treasures in terms of nature, culture and gastronomy, all of which making it one of the most celebrated countries in the world.
MARAMURES, A CIVILIZATION OF WOOD [52’]
The ultimate timberland
In Nortwhest Romania, Maramures is certainly one of the most authentic and preserved region of Europe. With half of its territory covered with forests, it is home to a civilisation of wood which is everywhere from churches to houses, from imposing portals to delicate artworks.
In the heart of its deep valleys live uniquely talented craftsmen. Foresters, carpenters and wood carvers populate villages entrenched in traditions. For centuries, life in Maramures has followed the seasons and Mother Nature plays a key role here. Christmas and Easter are cornerstones of the year and their celebrations are rich with folklore.
But slowly, for better and worse, modernity is entrenching. However, this little known region is hanging on its traditions and natural beauty.
MARKETS OF THE WORLD [4x52’]
Places of conviviality and exchange
On every continent, local markets bring together small producers like farmers, fishermen, breeders.
Whether on a lake in Kashmir, on a river in Vietnam, in the high mountains in Peru or on the seaside in the West Indies, these markets are first of all places of conviviality, warmth and exchange.
MASTER CRAFTERS [3x52’]
Human beings have always forged, blown, moulded, sculpted, shaped or fashioned, from raw materials such as sand, clay, wood and all kinds of other compounds, for the sole purpose of inventing and creating and to reach that moment when passion for a piece well crafted is combined with the love of beauty.
Traditional or innovative techniques, and most importantly a taste for excellence, have been passed down from generation to generation.
Technical mastery, know-how, audacity, high standards: this series is devoted to the art of the gesture through the eyes of its creator.
MASTERS OF TEA [52’]
A cultural beverage
After water, tea is the most ingested beverage in the world. Although common, tea requires extensive labor to make it grow, harvest its leaves and transform them. Like wine in Europe, there is a deep seated tea tradition in Asia where special vintages, prime growing areas, centuries old codes and know-how combine into a refine culture.
From the legendary Darjeeling valleys of India to the Japanese hills of Shizuoka and the province of Yunnan in China – considered the birthplace of tea – this film follows experts into a fascinating world.
THE MASTERS OF TEA is a surprising approach to Asia from the angle of its favorite beverage.
MEETING THE PAPUAN [26’]
Kelly Woolford, an explorator, is guiding an intrepid family of navigators deep inside the Wapoga river in Papua, on the Indonesian side of the island once known as Irian Jaya. They have come to meet little-known tribes, such as the Tause, whom Kelly has already stumbled upon.
This is the opportunity for an extraordinary encounter, the confrontation of a western family with a different culture where community, solidarity and respect of nature are paramount.
This experience will be an awakening for these European visitors.
MEMORIES OF OCEANIA [2x52’]
The last aboriginal tribes
Betty and Jacques Villeminot are two of the most prestigious pioneers of ethnographic cinema. They have spent all their lives in the traditional societies of Oceania.
This series centers on their voyages to explore the aboriginal way of life of Papuan and Australian tribes in New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.
NATIVE VISIONS [2x52’]
From the insiders' point of view
This collection seeks to help those peoples that are threatened with cultural extinction by recording their history and creating an account of their oral literature, cultural knowledge and ancestral traditions.
The producers took an unusual approach by inviting the native peoples to use modern audiovisual tools themselves. Their active involvement, overview of the scripts and production process result in films with an unequal and unique insider' access.
NECESSITY, MOTHER OF INVENTION [52’]
Making ends meet in Vietnam
In the heart of Vietnam, Mr. Quang has developed treasures of imagination to overcome his lack of financial means and make a decent living for his family.
He found ingenious solutions to make the best out of the natural resources around him: he produces biogas from his pigs manure, feeds his chicken with termits and barters his bootleg sake with neighbors.
He hopes his creativity and hard work ethic will add up to a brighter future for his children.
NOMADS, THE GENERATION AFTER [52’]
The Himalayas today
In the Indian region of Ladakh, in the heart of the Himalayas, a few thousands nomadic sheppperds still live with their herds at an altitude of 4,500 meters.
Through the daily life of a Tibetan family, we try to understand the deep changes these people are confronting. Their 14 year old daughter is studying in a Tibetan school and lives in a self-administered children village. In a nomadic settlement the routine is grueling, especially during winter when temperatures, even in the shelter of a tent, can fall below minus 30°C. This is an existence closer to survival than normal life.
Will this new generation, the one getting an education, be keen to perpetuate such a punishing traditional lifestyle?
OMECITTA, A JAPANESE TRIBUTE TO CINEMA [70’]
The movie posters city
30 km West of Tokyo, the city of Ome has a quaint charm with the multitude of cinema posters that announced the arrival of western films in the 50’s and 60’s. Indeed, after the war, Ome, with its 3 theaters showing international films, attracted moviegoers from all over the country.
Proud of this past, the municipality decided to revive it and although all the cinemas have disappeared, the streets are dotted with painted reproductions of hundreds of posters.
Thus, upon arriving at the train station, travellers are greeted by Audrey Hepburn and her "Breakfast at Tiffany's", while on the platform others wait facing "Romeo and Juliet".
ON THE WINE ROAD [10x52’]
The world most beautiful and unusual vineyards
Over the years, a wine culture has emerged almost everywhere in the world and is no longer limited to France or Italy.
Making great wine depends not only on the characteristics of the soil but also on factors such as climate and latitude. Whether in India, New Zealand or Argentina, winemakers are doing their utmost in their quest for excellence. Thanks to modern methods and improved irrigation systems, vines can now be grown under the equator or in deserts, which was unthinkable until recent years.
This series takes us to the most beautiful, and sometimes unusual, vineyards in the world to meet enthusiast winemakers and discover their countries.
ONCE UPON A TIME... [3x52’]
The genesis of stories
Beyond the realm of reality, the human imagination has been confronted from time immemorial with the mysteries of the world and the universe. It had no other choice than to dream hidden meanings, to lend, to the strange facts of this unknown world, faces and adventures capable of crystallizing its fears to better overcome them.
This is how stories beginning with "Once upon a time…" were born.
The beauty of the world
This series is about the history, people and culture of dream destinations.
From mystic Burma to legendary Santorin, from vibrant Havana to sophisticated Tuscany, each episode is a picturesque portrait of a city or a region many of us would love to visit.
PANORAMAS take you on a fulfilling journey made of informative stories and mesmerizing images.
The last of the traditional peoples
In many places on our planet, the last of the traditional peoples are confronted to the forces of globalisation.
This collection offers a glimpse into these ancestral societies and their struggle to exist and maintain their differences and precious customs.
Where basketball meets Tibet
The Tibetan Plateau is one of the world's highest and largest and home to the Ritomas who struggle to keep their nomadic culture alive while embracing modern world, notably in the form of their new found passion: basketball.
Helped by an American coach, the villagers want to build the best team around and decide to organize a tournament.
This film is a rich and moving human story of former nomads and monks playing basketball on a high altitude windswept outdoor ground. These colorful characters uncover another Tibetan reality at the crossroads of tradition and modernity.
SAMURAI CASTLES [52’]
Part fortresses, part palaces
After 5 years of restoration, Japan proudly celebrates the reopening of the Himeji Castle, a recently added World Heritage UNESCO site.
Too often mistaken for temples, Japanese castles are an integral part of the history of the country. Their slender architecture impressed the first Europeans who landed here in the 16th century. One can easily imagine samurai meandering down the footpaths, checking the defenses or visiting the dungeons.
From North to South and appropriately during the blossoming of the Sakura – the cherry tree which flower was the symbol of the samurai – this film unveils monuments still largely unknown outside of Japan.
SEARCH FOR MADE IN JAPAN [12x30’]
An eye for design and beauty
Japan is often associated with notion of excellence, durability, extreme attention to details, craftmanship and tradition. Every handcrafted product or design combines love and beauty like the famous Kyoto’s silk, Sabae eye-wear, samurai armor or even mundane frying pans.
SECRETS FROM THE END OF THE WORLD [52’]
A place frozen in time
6.000 years ago, men colonized the remote Southern part of Patagonia, the last virgin part of the planet global warming had just freed from the embrace of the ice.
For a long time, nothing disturbed the development of the 2 tribes that inhabited it, the Selknam and the Yamanas. Until the arrival of the first Europeans in the 19th century, they kept alive traditions that go back to the mists of time and that are the delight of archaeologists.
Ushuaia, the capital, has kept an essential characteristic of that time: isolation.
SHARING THE EARTH [10x52’]
An odyssey to rediscover nature
Veterinarian, biologist and adventurer Mannaïg de Kersauson travels the world in search of men and women who work to repair the damages inflicted upon the environment.
She is on the lookout for ways, new and old, mankind has found for living in harmony with nature. She talks to scientists, experts or local tribesmen from different parts of the world about these environmental issues and what can be done to restore some balance.
From Canada to Brazil or Kenya, this series is an odyssey that enables us to learn more about our planet's diversity and the means to protect it.
SMILE, YOU'RE ABOUT TO DISAPPEAR [52’]
A magnet for tourists
The Hmongs live in North Vietnam.
Rejected by the locals and long persecuted by the government, they perpetuate ancestral traditions while becoming, in recent years, a magnet for tourists seeking exotic memories captured with their cameras.
Easy income does improve their daily lives but will this trade herald their inexorable disappearance?
SO BRITISH! ECCENTRIC UK [6x26’]
Quirky ways to have fun
Is it that famous sense of humour or the weather? Or is it because they live on an island? Whatever the reason, our British friends have developed all kinds of weird hobbies over the centuries, and they're still at it today, as the UK has become the international headquarters of eccentric activities.
This series provides an exhaustive offbeat tour of the nation's most bizarre spectacles and competitions. From Cheese Rolling to Bog Snorkeling, from the World Worm Charming Championships to Canine Freestyle, ECCENTRIC UK delivers the cream of the action and provides all the insight you'll need when you find yourself asking: why?
STORY OF A GIANT [26’]
This is the story of a dream come true for Michel Deville thanks to the Suku Konjo, a tribe from Sulawesi Island renowned for its excellence in the construction of wooden sailing ships.
The "Waow" is the biggest such ship ever built with traditional methods in Indonesia.
STRANGER THAN YOU [10x26’]
Asia through teens' eyes
This series targeted at young viewers uncovers amazing and unusual customs, rites, rituals, traditions, jobs and even hobbies of teens in Asia.
Get an insight into curious worlds and experience the contrast of growing up in neighbouring countries.
TANZANIA, STONE HUNTERS [22’]
The chrysoprase, a semi-precious stone
Dimitri Manthéakis, a fifth generation Tanzanian of Greek origin, he has been crisscrossing the country for 40 years in search of precious stones such as rubies, spinels, diamonds or sapphires.
Thanks to its local network, Dimitri discovered a few years ago a vein of a semi-precious stone unknown in Tanzania, the chrysoprase. He bought the hill that contains the precious ore and built a mine with the help of the local villagers. He was the first in the country to promote this stone, which is increasingly popular with major jewellers such as Cartier and Pomellato.
TASTING BRAZIL [20x26’]
The samba gastronomy
Bel Coelho, a celebrity chef in Brazil, explores the diversity of her country through its cooking and those who make it.
Brazil is made up of a multitude of peoples and cultures, with Iberian, indigenous, African, European and North American influences, and its cuisine reflects this.
Bel Coelho criss-crosses this huge country, from the Amazon to the bottom South, to fine cooks from all walks of life.
TAXI TO ASIA [10x26’]
Follow the driver
Taxi drivers are probably the first people you meet upon setting foot in a new country, but also the most colorful and clued-in characters.
TAXI TO ASIA is the first travelogue to tap the lively personalities of these informal ambassadors with their huge personal treasure trove of tested tips and tricks to get around Asia's most dynamic destinations.
But cabbies are also representative of a city's working class and following them allows us to better understand the common man’s pains and hopes. They show us that living in a big bustling city isn't always a bed of roses and give us a reality check on how people are living today in Asia.
THE 2 WORLDS OF THE PYGMIES [52’]
The forest experts
In North Congo lives one of the last Pygmy community of Africa.
Evicted from the deep forests which sheltered them, they have to coexist with the Bantus who are quite suspicious of these little men.
Yet, the Pygmies’ knowledge of the forest is unparallel and a factor of integration. They are indeed increasely esteemed for the benefits they can bring to their new neighbors.
THE BACKWATERS OF KERALA [52’]
The labyrinth of the Gods
In southwest India, the State of Kerala shelters the Backwaters, a dense network of canals digged in the 19th century by the British to irrigate ricefields.
Along the 1,800 kms of river banks, hindus, muslims and catholics live side by side in perfect harmony, brought together by work in the fields.
Today, the Backwaters constitute a landscape unique in the world with its own traditions and activities.
THE BICYCLE DIARIES [8x23’]
Asia's winding roads
Today, everything goes fast, including our travelling and visiting. But there is no substitute for discovering a country with a “go slow” approach, journeying at a leisurely pace. And when such an endeavor is undertaken by Nikki Muller, a Swiss-Phillipino model, the viewer is in for a beautiful and graceful experience.
Starting in Myanmar, travelling all the way down to Vietnam, through 3 more countries known for their rich history and ethnic diversity, she's riding past luscious landscapes, encountering some of the most amazing cultures and people.
THE CANARY ISLANDS, MELTING POT OF THE ATLANTIC [2x26’]
The 7 faces archipelago
The Canary archipelago is a popular tourist destination. However, despite the crowds, these islands brutally shaped by Mother Nature have managed to preserve breathtaking landscapes.
The Canary Islands lay on maritime routes opened by Christopher Columbus and are defined by their close cultural ties with South America and their proximity to the North African coast.
Despite its notoriety, this Spanish land remains a well kept secret while each island offers its share of surprises, with art blending with natural and untamed settings or charming traditional villages overlooking spectacular deserted beaches.
THE FORGOTTEN VOICES [8x52’]
Endangered primary peoples
This collection presents the cultures, traditions and disappearing ways of life of the last hunter-gatherers or nomadic tribes of the world.
Each film strives for sincerity, without staging or altering the reality faced by these people.
The aim here is to preserve, for future generations, these tribal memories and to show how their cultures change, even sometimes disappear, as globalisation progresses inexorably.
THE GAUCHA PRINCESS [52’]
European aristocracy in Latin America
Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg arrived in Uruguay at age 7 when her parents emigrated from Europe fearing a third World War. She immediately fell in love with the open spaces and dreamed of one day running her own ranch where she would raise cattle and horses.
Nowadays, Las Rosas is one of the most prestigious estancias with thousands of cattle and one of the largest stud farm in the world.
However successful she has been, the Princessa Gaucha still maintains a certain taste for the European aristocracy traditions of her youth.
THE GLOBE TROTTER FAMILY [5x26’]
Growing up while travelling
Carine, Emmanuel and their little Lou are an unusual family. The parents, who are accomplished athletes, have decided to show their daughter the world from her early years while fulfilling their passion for watersports.
But they aren’t into senseless travelling and are eager to give a meaning to each of their journeys by discovering different lifestyles, joining humanitarian missions or promoting environmental protection.
From Peru to Tuamotu and Papua to Mozambique, this series follows the adventures of a family who takes us to exotic locations and away from the standard touristic routes.
THE HMONG HORSEMAN [52’]
The Vietnamese mountain people
The magnificent mountains of North Vietnam have always sheltered the Hmong ethnic minorities. This is where they subdued the forest and mastered the art of terrace cropping, shaping extraordinary landscapes with their ricefields.
In this rugged terrain nothing can be done without the precious help of robust and courageous small horses. Toa is head of a family clan and once a year, together with his cherished equine companion, he enters a racing event he would never miss.
Through Toa, we discover a very singular people still tradition bound and faraway from the Vietnam usually seen.
THE IMMORTAL SHADOWS [52’]
Entertainment becomes art
Animation is one of today’s most popular forms of entertainment which makes great use of ever evolving technologies.
However its origin goes way back, in a long forgotten traditional art that a Japanese shadow master wants to bring to a new audience.
His quest takes him to a remote village deep into Malaysia’s tropical forest in the midst of the monsoon, in search of a master puppeteer who knows the secrets of the shadows immortality.
THE LAST SALT CARAVAN [52’]
The Southern Silk Roa
Yunnan Province, in southwest China, is the starting point of the ancient Tea Trade Road going to Tibet. It was also known as the southern Silk Road and carries a 2,000 years history.
Today, caravans keep travelling this route to trade tea and, most importantly, salt which has been a major currency throughout time.
These caravans and the region they pass through are still barely known.
THE MESSENGERS OF ZANSKAR, A MARRIAGE IN THE HIMALAYAS [52’]
The union of yesterday and tomorrow
Likden is a trekking guide living in Skaagam located 3,700 meters high in the Himalayan valley of Zanskar. After four long years of negotiation with his bride’s family, they are now ready to get married.
The preparation for the ritual lasts 4 days and the spiritual guides of the community, are responsible for the observance of the ancestral traditions. Even if the lifestyle in Skagam seems stuck in the past, the emergence of cell phones and the internet is raising news hopes. Indeed, Likden dreams of opening a computer school. His brother and friends are studying in Northern India but all want to come back to build a better future for all.
Through this Himalayan wedding ceremony, this film is a colorful illustration of the eternal confrontation between tradition and modernity.
THE PATH OF MEN [14x52’]
The many routes of civilizations
This series combines the geographical, historical, cultural and sociological discoveries with mythical roads cleared by adventurers or mapped over time by civilizations, explorers, conquering states, itinerant merchants.
It puts into perspective the development of civilizations over several hundred years and reflects on the evolution of nature and humanity throughout the world.
We follow the great trajectories forged by man driven by geology, raw material or green wealth.
THE PLACE WE LIVE IN [13x24’]
The power of hope
This series depicts the difficult circumstances in which some people in the world live. But, paradoxically, their condition doesn’t prevent them from contemplating life in a positive way.
How has this attitude shaped their cultures and beliefs while teaching them to survive in a sometimes harsh environment?
THE PLANET OF TREES [24x26’]
From the venerable oaks in Western forests to the emblematic baobabs of Africa, from the olive trees of the Mediterranean to the exotic palm trees, each species of tree is unique.
Trees have accompanied man since the dawn of time providing food, healing, shelter as well as wood for fire or building material. However, this relationship is proving contradictory moving from symbolic respect to senseless destruction.
In each episode several personalities, from scientists to park rangers, expose a species from its characteristics to its history and what it brings to man.
THE SALT WOMEN [52’]
A life-changing innovation
In West Africa, along the coastline of Guinea, people have been harvesting salt for centuries using fire for the evaporation process. However, this vital activity has been endangered by the lack of wood due to the overexploited and shrinking mangroves.
To counter this disastrous trend, a NGO introduced a revolutionary method creating small salt swamps with plastic sheets which makes the sea water evaporates under the heat of the sun and easing the collection of the precious crystal.
The women don’t need to use fire anymore, a huge improvement for their health and the environment, not to mention a better living standard for their families and a brighter future.
THE SPLENDOR OF THE ITALIAN LAKES [2x52’]
Italy is known for its art, culture and history.
But it also abounds in lush nature, breathtaking landscapes and lakes of legendary beauty.
We discover these lakes in an unforgettable journey.
THE TRACKS TO TIMBUKTU [52’]
The doorsteps to the desert
Mali may make the news for civil and religious strife but this film offers a peek into a world still lingering on the beauty of its traditions.
The country is home to the stunning Bandiagara cliffs, the banks of the Niger river and to the mysterious Dogon people. There is the fabulous Djenné, a city made of earth, at the crossroads of a nomadic and sedentary lifestyle. And then Timbuktu, the legendary city and gateway to the desert, a symbol of the far end of the world.
This is a journey through an uniquely enigmatic and fascinating land.
THROUGH YOUR EYES [80x26’]
A different perspective on the world
This series offers a new look at our planet, that of Sophie Massieu, a journalist blind from birth, and her dog Pongo.
Obviously, Sophie cannot judge people by their appearance but she is more attuned to their psychology and way of life. This difference gives rise to touching and surprising encounters thanks, in no small part, to the presence of her Dalmatian, particularly well trained to accompany a blind person.
Together, they offer us a different perspective on the world and its sumptuous landscapes.
TOURISM IN IRAN [52’]
Archeological treasures and magnificent landscapes
From Isfahan to Persepolis and from Teheran to Shiraz, archeological treasures and magnificent landscapes attract an increasing number of tourists.
It’s a windfall for tour operators and for the economy of the country which has been suffering under a commercial embargo for years.
Also available as a 36'
TRIBES OF THE HIMALAYAS [6x52’]
The Himalayas are more than a playground for trekkers or the landmark for the most memorable climbing achievements. Hard to reach valleys, such as Ladakh or Paldar, are hidden amongst these gigantic mountains and shelter various tribes who have managed to live in the most inhospitable conditions.
Although they cling to their culture, the latest technologies, such as the internet or mobile phones, are quietly rearing their heads and disrupting secular lifestyles.
These films explore the nomadic life in the Himalayas, travel trading routes between the high valleys and present colorful rites and traditions. This "over the top" collection is a beautiful and authentic voyage into the heart of a harsh and majestic universe.
TWENTY MASTERPIECES OF NATURE [20x26’]
Unusual guides to the most beautiful natural parks in the world
This series is a guided tour to the most beautiful natural parks where few people ever get to set foot, such as Brazil’s Iguazu Falls, Canada’s Waterton Lakes or Madagascar’s lunar landscapes.
Our guides have distinctive occupations such as veterinarian, biologist, forest ranger, dog handler, firefighter, even astronaut but they all share a dedication to preserving our natural heritage. They are unstoppable, working through tropical downpour, in freezing temperatures on the highest snowcapped peaks, or under the scorching sun.
Despite being nature’s greatest threat, humanity can also be its best protector.
Also available as 10x52'
UNIQUE HOMES [12x26’]
A tour of Japanese creative architecture
UNIQUE HOMES introduces one-of-a-kind houses in Japan built or designed by families or individuals living in it.
The houses feature exclusive design and functions while still matching unique environment and location constraints.
This is a tour of Japanese creative architecture.
Man and his environment
This collection looks at human societies the world over under six themes: families, women, becoming an adult, water, Man and Nature, Man and Animal.
This extremely novel approach is an unique mix of discovery, anthropology and sociology. Each episode focuses on one part of the world and addresses the interaction between man and its environment.
UP! ON THE (GREEN) ROOFS OF PARIS [52’]
The secrets high above
This film is an exceptional journey to discover an unknown Paris where Mother Nature reigns; an expedition on the rooftops of the city which harbors amazing hanging gardens.
Strawberries grow above the Galeries Lafayette; vines on City Hall; vegetables on school roofs, tended by students; hops on the BHV department store and the Opéra Bastille, which will soon offer beer to its visitors.
The rooftops of Paris have not revealed all their secrets yet.
UP! ON THE ROOFS OF... [5x52’]
An unknown and inaccessible world
Unlike boulevards and monuments, the rooftops of cities are an unknown world, inaccessible to most of its inhabitants and the tourists.
However, a few privileged have made these secret gardens part of their daily lives.
WAR AGAINST WATERS [52’]
A marshy floodplain city
In the North-East of Congo is a region known as the "basin".
Situated in the heart of a marshy floodplain and stricken by an equatorial climate, this area gets over 150 days of rain per year. Since 1912, the city of Mossaka that lays in the middle of the basin is the main administrative center, overshadowing Bonga which is on dry ground.
Here, the river is the only way to move around and this obstacle has impacted the region development while the rest of the country kept advancing since independence in 1960. However, these past few years has seen the basin benefiting from progress and human inventiveness.
WHEN WE PLAY [5x46’]
The playgrounds and the communities they serve
Many of our childhood memories are filled with playing, and playgrounds are a big part of this recollection. Wind blowing through one's hair while on a swing, the sudden rush of excitement going down a slide, bumps and bruises, friends and foes.
The rapid urbanisation of Asia is spurring the growth of play spaces where children and communities can experience, learn and reimagine the urban life.
This series, shot in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and China, examines the playgrounds impact on the communities they are built for and reflect on the urban environments they exist in.
WHERE PEOPLE READ [6x45’]
In various countries in Asia, trucks provide books for those who do not have libraries readily accessible or reading material at their fingertips.
Imagine what it would be like if you had to wait for a bookmobile to come around once a week just so you could spend a few hours pouring through.
To some, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
WIND QUEST [22x52’]
Marrying travel and scientific study
Arthur de Kersauson and Antoine Auriol go around the world to meet singular winds to which men have often given names.
Each episode is a journey and a real challenge because the wind does not always blow where you expect it. But when it does, everything seems to come alive.
At once scientific study and a breath of fresh air, this series is an experience with winds that have their own identities and have a strong impact on people's lives.
WOMEN OF ZANZIBAR [52’]
The business of seaweed
On the island of Zanzibar, in the village of Jambiani, seaweed is grown to be used in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries.
This business started 10 years ago to revive the archipelago's economic activity. The men proved too restless to get involved in a long-term project, so the women decided to give it a try. The former clung to their fishing and trading activities, while the latter obtained money and recognition.
Today, women are reaping the benefits of their efforts and do not intend to stop there. They are learning new techniques, overcoming their fear of water and negotiating to become even more independent.
KIDS OF THE WORLD [6x26’]
The daily life of children in faraway places
Children everywhere are the same, yet lead very different lives.
This series meet them in the jungle, the savannah, the deserts or the high mountains to share a day in their lives. With the most remote tribes, we discover what it means to grow up in these communities. There are certainly differences but also amazing similarities with our societies.
KIDS OF THE WORLD is about the daily life of children in faraway places.
PARAIBA MEU AMOR [74’]
The soul music of Northeast Brazil
Northeast Brazil moves to the beat of "forró", a music that is an integral part of the life and culture of the region.
This film explores the history, presents interviews and covers live sessions to understand how this music came to represent the spirit of the Northeast and the Sertão regions.
In such a dry and arid land, the "forró" has greatly influenced the people and their culture.
PARAIBA MEU AMOR [52’]
The soul music of Northeast Brazil
Northeast Brazil moves to the beat of "forró", a music that is an integral part of the life and culture of the region.
This film explores the history, presents interviews and covers live sessions to understand how this music came to represent the spirit of the Northeast and the Sertão regions.
In such a dry and arid land, the "forró" has greatly influenced the people and their culture.
THE ROOFTOPS OF PARIS [55’]
The inaccessible heights of the City of Lights
Between zinc and sky is an unexplored dimension of the French capital. The roofs conceal one of the most typical faces of Paris, a chaotic horizon sculpted by architectural trends over the centuries.
Some people break the law roaming the city heights, others enjoy the magnificent views, relax in hidden gardens or bath in private swimming pools.
These encounters lead to a reflection on life in an urban environment. With a few changes, the rooftops could provide an answer to the lack of space, fresh air, horizon and conviviality.