Documentary residencies Villa Médicis x Tënk

The documentary residencies are back for a second edition from 28 November to 1 December 2022!

Driven by the common ambition to support contemporary documentary production in all its forms, The French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici and Tënk, a video-on-demand platform dedicated to auteur documentaries, have joined forces to create the Villa Medici x Tënk documentary residencies. These residencies take the form of professional meetings organised over three days in Rome, bringing together filmmakers, producers, broadcasting and distribution companies.

This initiative extends the commitment of The French Academy in Rome and Tënk to support contemporary creation and is part of a process of accompanying and networking filmmakers and producers of feature-length documentaries that have already been shot, but need financial or technical support in their final stages of post-production. Following a call for films (below), four documentary films in the final stages of editing have been selected to participate in the programme. These projects will benefit from commitments from the broadcasting and distribution companies that are partners in the residency, as well as privileged discussion time with experts in the documentary and artistic sectors, and the Villa Medici x Tënk label for their cinema releases.

The call for films concerns:
• feature-length documentaries,
• with a completed first cut,
• with a potential for theatrical release,
• in its final stages of financing and seeking complementary partners to ensure their finalisation (post-production) and/or distribution.

The 4 documentary projects selected for the 2022 edition:

Ana Rosa by director Catalina Villar 

Production: L’Atelier documentaire

A single identity photo found after the death of my parents: that of my grandmother, Ana Rosa, who died before I was born and was never spoken of in the family. I only knew that she had undergone a lobotomy. I wanted to understand why, who and how. By drawing the threads of this tragic story, I explore the links between psychiatry and the society of its time and the very specific place of women in this history…

Film supported by the programme “Brouillon d’un rêve“, created by the Scam

Au cimetière de la pellicule by director Thierno Souleymane Diallo

Production : L’Image d’aprèsJPL Productions

Mamlo, a filmmaker who “wastes his time”, travels around Guinea in search of “Mouramani”, the first film made by a black man in French-speaking Africa, Mamadou Touré, in 1953. In this quest, he discovers what has become of the filmmakers, the films and the screening rooms of this country that was a pioneer of cinema on the African continent. Mamlo travels through Guinea from East to West, from North to South, confronting his camera with history, until he discovers that the copy of the film is perhaps in France.

Film supported by the programme “Brouillon d’un rêve“, created by the Scam

Un Comté apocryphe by director Geoffrey Lachassagne  

Production: Triptyque Films

William Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American writer. He published 20 novels, all set in an imaginary county, Yoknapatawpha. In 1936, he drew a map of it. It is perfectly superimposed on reality.

Veilleurs de nuit by director Juliette de Marcillac

Production: Dryades Films

Montgenèvre, a ski resort on the French-Italian border. In a 10 km strip beyond the border, the “refusal to enter the territory” procedure allows the police to send exiled people back to Italy without examining their situation. To be able to continue their journey, they go further and further up the mountain, often risking their lives. On the French side, volunteers walk the paths every night to offer them help and guide them to a shelter further down the valley. They are the marauders. Veilleurs de nuit proposes an immersion at their side, for one night in the mountains. 

Film supported by the programme “Brouillon d’un rêve“, created by the Scam

The films submitted were examined by a selection committee composed of representatives of The French Academy in Rome, the Scam, Tënk and partner broadcasting and distribution companies.

The chosen filmmakers will participate in the professional meetings organised during three days at Villa Medici, from 28 November to 1 December 2022, in the presence of several partners (last year, TV5 Monde, Nour Films, Lightdox and Tënk participated).

During these professional days, each film will be screened at Villa Medici and there will be time for individual discussions with the various partners. Evening screenings will be organised, highlighting creative documentaries or films by singular artists.

In addition to the networking and inter-professional exchanges, these meetings will be an opportunity to formalise concrete commitments to the projects: each partner present will take part in the final stage of project selection and will commit to supporting one or more winning films, either in pre-financing or in distribution.

About Tënk

Tënk is the SVOD platform dedicated to documentary films available since 2016 in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg and since 2020 in the whole European Union and in the United Kingdom. Subscribers have access at all times to more than 60 films according to an evolving programme developed by a team of 20 programmers.

Since 2018, Tënk has been committed to independent producers and actively participates in documentary creation through a policy of pre-purchases. This commitment is based on several axes: supporting fragile creation, bearing witness to major societal issues and decompartmentalising artistic practices.

For more information:

This residency is supported by the Scam

The Scam is a society of authors that represents its members to public authorities, broadcasters, distributors, web platforms, producers and publishers. It negotiates, collects and distributes its members’ royalties, defends their interests and carries out cultural and social action.

Villa Medici and cinema

As an artists’ residence and multidisciplinary laboratory, Villa Medici continues its work in favour of film creation, which began in 1974 with the residency of resident filmmakers, scriptwriters and visual artists, including Clément Cogitore, Mitra Farahani, Benjamin Crotty, Thomas Salvador, Nora Martirosyan, Xavier Beauvois, Éric Baudelaire, Evangelia Kranioti, Caroline Deruas, Valérie Mréjen and Lola Gonzàlez.

Since 2021, Villa Medici has organised an annual Film Festival in September which explores the links between cinema and contemporary art through an international competition and a programme of events and meetings.

The French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici continues its commitment to filmmakers and artists by being present at the decisive stages of creation, from the production phase to the distribution of the works and their transmission to the public.

Photos © Académie de France à Rome