THE STARTING POINT:
IT BEGINS WITH A CHILD
I was looking for the trigger, the tipping point, that which makes one go from idea to action, from doubt to movement, from solitude to the other, from nerves to adventure. From fear to joy. To the desire to live. Deep down, I was asking myself the same questions as my son. I was answering with adult words, for adults. So that this state of mind, this way of being in the world, would unfold. In short, it seemed that I had all the keys to help him. Except that day, my son’s questions stopped me dead in my tracks.
All this work had carried me, yes. But its impact, my impact was weak: at best, these same adults found it « interesting ». The worst thing was that despite all my research, meetings and testimonies of activists and whistleblowers, I was unable to put myself on a par with my son. Responding to him and preserving his desire to live, offering him a way to be in the world became the most important task to accomplish.
This scene takes place 4 years ago. Since then, the breakdown of our social, economic, health, ecological and political ecosystem has accelerated madly. Masks, beliefs and false security are falling. It will probably take generations to understand what is at stake for humanity in these years. A collapse, a reversal? The purpose of the film, our entire approach, is to show that we all have a choice, individually and collectively.
Very quickly, the title came, as if it fell from the sky, marking at the same time :
- An acknowledgement of powerlessness in the face of something, a reality, an unspoken law or a virus, which is beyond us.
- A wonderment, in front of an energy that resists resignation, an energy common to all whistleblowers and activists. An energy that comes from childhood (and that we can keep all our life): the energy of justice tied to the body.
- An intuition that these young people, sometimes children, who act show us the way, draw it, to us adults, the « grown-ups ».
- A call to get out of oneself, to forget one’s fear and ego, the gaze of others and the illusion of comfort. In short, to forget oneself, to bow down. To live better. To respond.
- An adventure towards others, like those of our characters towards their communities. Like ours towards you, the film’s community. It is the idea that the stories we tell ourselves compel us. That our role is to allow them. To pass them on. They tell us: we are connected.
So there you have it, our film highlights ordinary people who, in different ways, on many front lines, do extraordinary things: serving something bigger than themselves, values, fellow human beings, a certain idea of dignity.
This is precisely what makes them extraordinary, out of our time, that of the choice of comfort at all costs, immediate and personal. Beyond the common sense solutions, solidarity and equity that they implement, they embody a world of links, meaning and joy. The joy of being present, of being alive. To really count. Of course, some will scoff. Cynicism is just a way to avoid responsibility. It is an admission of weakness. On the contrary, our characters do not deny anything. Everything concerns them. Every day, the choice of the other, of life and its preservation makes them hyper vibrant in a world which, precisely, heads for a fall. Nothing is simple. It is a matter of living big. Of choosing
TO CHOOSE BECAUSE ...
IT STARTS WITH YOU
- Why do you do it?
- What’s in it for you?
- What’s the price you pay?
- What helps you the most?
- How do you see your generation?
- What could change everything?
- Should we change the system or the individuals?
- Why are there so many girls in these movements?
OUR PARTNERS BECAUSE ...
IT STARTS WITH THEM
This film would never have had the chance to be produced without the support of France Télévisions, Canal+, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Chanel, our French distributor, Jour2Fête and our international agent, Indie Sales. But we had to go far beyond that.
Aboutir à un film documentaire engagé et ambitieux To make a committed and ambitious documentary film at a time when the film industry and culture in general are being struck down by health restrictions is just impossible without the support of partners who respect the film’s approach, its DNA and its absolute freedom. The only question is rather: what does this partnership, this relationship, allow that is not more but better?
None of our partners interfered in the preparation, shooting or editing of the film. The same goes for its communication, the choice of messages. For these partners, the film had to exist, to be seen, commented on. In itself. The title undoubtedly awakened a feeling, something intimate to which their commitment to the film responds. For some, the way the film’s words transform their practices and address their responsibilities is incredible to watch. Sharing it is their choice. For us, they are unconditional supporters here, to bring the film to its full expression, to the people for whom it is useful.
More than partners, these are our allies who understood that BIGGER THAN US was more than a film. A starting point. Which also began with them…
- BRUT positioned itself as a media partner even though filming had not yet begun. With a total alignment on the subject and the ambition, this support helps us to bring our film closer to its audience.
- Boulanger et Electro Dépôt who are at the initiative and financing the operation « 100 000 places for 100 000 young people », that is to say the granting of 100 000 free tickets to any person from 13 to 27 years old and this while the youth is constrained, invited only to the distancing or guilt feeling. It is not a question of « making » a film, nor even of talking about it. But to imagine everything so that it is seen by those for whom it exists. Exposing the youth to the messages of our protagonists is the high point of our adventure. Or even its starting point.
- EMLyon which involves its students and finances the training of facilitators for the post-screening workshops because the film is the start, yes, we hope, of an enormous conversation to allow youth to find themselves and reveal themselves.
- The AFD, which finances this website and all the content derived from it (except for the podcast) because the film raises many questions and as many angers or possibilities. And that it would be useless, even irresponsible, not to make available tools to go further, to learn, to connect and perhaps to commit. The support of our partner also allows us to propose all our contents under a non-commercial free license.
Finally, this project is possible because structures are working on it as if it was their own. And it is!
- WeDoData agency to design this website as a landing place, learning and linking. A big open and free house, a place to go to those who do things.
- La Grande Distribution to transform movie theaters into agora during which associations, NGOs, universities, collectives discuss the film, their causes and their actions. And thus, there too, to bring our audiences closer to those who take action.
OUR COMMITMENTS BECAUSE...
IT STARTS WITH US
Because the film industry is one of the most polluting and discriminating in the world and to do our best, from the start, we have laid down some principles.
- Equality between men and women or even over-representation of women
- Priority to the employment of young people
- For the campaign of participative financing, creation of solidarity counterparts (purchase of tickets for the most destitute), ecological (trees, recycled bags), symbolic (photos of shooting, travel book).
- CCarbon compensation of our travels: 3.000 trees planted with Reforest’action and Kinomé.
- Responsible travel: accommodation in local structures, payment in local currency.
- Limitation of equipment and use of electricity (shooting in natural light)
- Vegetarian catering (for 80% of the team)
- Transport of 20 kilos of clothes, purchase of pencils and notebooks for the children
- Equality between men and women, even over-representation of women
- Public restitution open to all and free on return from each of our shoots
- Priority to local employment and work in the region
- Equality between men and women and even over-representation of women
Life of the film:
- Free access to all additional content created from the rushes and editing (outside the film)
- Commitment to donate 1% of the proceeds to the 1% for the Planet collective (for Big Mother Productions)
- Commitment to pay back the proceeds to our endowment fund for committed youth (in progress): 20% for the three producers, 5% for Jour2Fête, the film’s distributor in France, 5% for Indie Sales, the international agent and some foreign distributors.
THE IMPACT STRATEGY BECAUSE...
IT STARTS WITH YOU
During the filming, free public debriefings in Paris, open to all, on the return of each of our expeditions were opportunities for unfiltered exchanges, as close as possible to the issues of the film. We often saw the film being « made » during these « debriefs », with the audience’s moving questions helping us to understand their expectations and to orient the narrative options.
Since then, the political and societal context has confirmed another terrible intuition: never has youth been in such need of hope, concreteness, courage and confidence. A call to life. BIGGER THAN US speaks of this impulse, however, in the middle of a collapse. The choice of life and love, against that of fear and death. The one we are living today.
Carrying such a message in such a context gives us an extraordinary responsibility and opportunity: to accompany our viewers after our film to transform the emotions created into a desire to speak, to learn, to form, to bond, to mobilize, to give, even to act. To live.
Finally, never has the film industry, and more broadly the culture industry, been so questioned in its very existence. What if we turned all this into an opportunity? What if the movie theaters, banned for months, today weakened, became this close and accessible place, precisely, of projection of the imaginary and the possible? This space of safety to get back on track. To find oneself and to project oneself. From the beginning, BIGGER THAN US has been a long adventure towards others. The film is finished, it has only just begun. This is our bet. Here.
We want to transform our film from a cultural object into a political object, in the noblest possible sense: into a tool for the City. A tool that does not belong to anyone but speaks to everyone. Because beyond the film but deriving from it, our role is to allow this energy of life to unfold and this desire of commitment to become concrete for each and everyone.
We are particularly motivated by three objectives:
- To place the film, its subject matter, its key messages in the hands, eyes and hearts of those to whom it may be useful, wherever they may be;
- To transform the emotion aroused into movement for themselves, that is to say how to allow them to learn, to act, to connect, even to create their own project/action.
- To help the characters of the film, but also all the young people already active or ready to take action by making their initiatives more sustainable.
You will find all the resources and our ideas on this site. May it be useful to you.