La Grande Traversée / The Great Journey

Project

La Grande Traversée is a web series about female filmmakers in Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China and India, and more specifically about the behind the scenes of a documentary where each women is a part of the story. This web series shows all the side stories, the way that these women do their jobs, sometimes in very difficult contexts. It also shows how Coco and her dog Jackie travel to meet with them, in a crazy road trip adventure that connects Brussels to India.

Context

Cinema is a fascinating world. Yet, the audience often doesn’t know what is behind the curtains. Many of us do not fully understand what it takes to make a film? For a director, experiences may vary but the struggle remains identical, successfully make your film come to life.

At the starting point of a film is often an idea, a desire to tell a story. A director will then try to make their dream become a reality. Surrounded by a team, it is a long process of creation that can sometimes take years, or even a lifetime.

Strangely enough, the directors who bring stories to life are often men. Even though there are many internationally famous women directors, they do not account for the majority. It is the case in Europe, but also in other continents. With this project, we wish to go with you on a different path, which is following the work of women filmmakers in a different part of the world.

The Great Journey follows the route that leads to remote lands where Europe ends, then walking on the Silk Road to finally arrive to Asia. On this territory alone, crossing Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China and India, the way of making films is different and so are the stakes. On top of the difficulties inherent to film making, there is the difficulty of being a woman. Those two aspects combined make this whole adventure a real challenge.

That road is the Great Journey, the one which will allow me to build day after day the objet of my documentary, where each woman represents a part of the story. This journey is a promise of adventure, human interaction, difficulties and challenges, surprises and joy. The whole process of filmmaking constitutes the behind the scenes that I wish to show through my web series. This is where the project I present to you begins.

A web series about the behind the scenes of women filmmaking

The project in itself is peculiar. I will travel to meet six female filmmakers, driving from Brussels with my dog Jackie. On our own on the road, we will stop successively in Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China and India.

Each step will be presented in a web series, which will show us the behind the scenes of the documentary making process, the aim of this trip. The web series is made especially for you! As an invitation to go on the road across six countries alongside Jackie and me and to discover from a woman perspective what is behind their cinema. This web series will show the environment in which these six female filmmakers live and work in their respective countries but also their daily struggles. It makes no doubt the Great Journey will be rich in diversity and surprises! The identity of these women, most of them internationally known, will be revealed one by one as we go on the road, in order to keep a little bit of mystery.

Through the portrait of each woman, we will see the situation of the country they live in as well as what may often be an obstacle to the realization of their creative work and freedom of speech. In doing so, the Great Journey aims to take off the veil on the situation of these women in these parts of the world, where self-fulfillment too often than not requires a constant fight for freedom on a national scale. The Great Journey women are living examples of success, persistence, stubbornness and immense artistic talent.

Moreover, as the journey will be done by car only, it might not be easy to cross borders, especially difficult borders like the ones planned during the Great Journey. I often heard that crossing some borders with a vehicle was virtually impossible. I do believe it can be done, but it certainly won’t be easy. This will be part of the adventure, with each border control bringing me closer to the next woman filmmaker to meet.

In brief, the Great Journey wishes to celebrate the work of these women who can be real leaders and meet great successes despite their daily battles to get there. All of it, you will be able to see before the documentary is released thanks to the web series.