Broadcasters, China (mainland), Directors, France, NEWS — 08/13/2011 9:36 PM

French director Jacques Perrin joins CCTV (China Daily)

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The 70-year-old filmmaker Jacques Perrin joined China Central Television (CCTV) as foreign consultant for documentary.

By Liu Wei

In China Daily, 2011-08-13

Jacques Perrin will help the largest Chinese TV network’s newly established documentary channel evaluate co-production projects, find international documentary-making talents and train local teams.

“Documentaries are mirrors of life and society,” he says. “I appreciate CCTV’s efforts to set up a channel to promote them.”

Liu Wen, managing director of the channel, is anticipating a long and fruitful partnership. “Perrin’s professionalism and international influence will help us bring our works to more audiences.”

Perrin entered the film industry as an actor. At the age of 25 he won Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. Two years later he produced the Oscar-winning film Z. Over four decades he has been producing and directing feature films and documentaries, while continuing his acting career.

He is optimistic about the prospect of documentaries in China and believes sincerity wins over audiences.

“Don’t think all day about how to please audiences, instead you observe people and their environments to find stories,” he says. “Even if some subjects have been dealt with before, long and careful enough observation will bring something unique to tell.”

In his latest work, Oceans, Perrin and co-director Jacques Cluzaud focus on ocean animals in 50 spots around the world. Costing $66 million, the 104-minute flick took four years to film. Some locations were in reserves where only scientists have set foot in the past 20 years. Perrin says filming was a delight. When filming on the Galapagos Islands, the crew found the seagulls there liked humans and approached them. On Coburg Island on the Arctic Archipelago, they were impressed by a seal mother who embraced her baby all the time.

“The film is like a poem. It touches people by what it depicts: the beauty of nature. Many people are too busy to feel the beauty nowadays,” Perrin says.

While reflecting the need to adore nature, the film also demonstrates the negative aspects of human activity on animals. Some scenes portray shark finning and injuring dolphins.

“When I was young there were many sardines in the Mediterranean, but industrial fishing has reduced their numbers drastically,” he says. “Some countries used to dispute cod fishing rights in the South of France, but that dispute has faded as codfish are disappearing there.”

Oceans hits mainland theaters on Friday, featuring a voiceover by renowned actor/director Jiang Wen.

SOURCE: China Daily (08/13/2011 page11)

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