François Balcaen has always told stories... His 28-year career in the motion picture film industry has given him an in-depth knowledge of storytelling as a visual art. His attention to detail and strong cinematic style evoke his fundamental principal that above all, the emotions that lie within the narrative must rule… His directing resume includes the documentary film “Marguerite: Hier et Aujourd’hui”, an immensely moving account of the Grey Nuns 275 year history in Canada. His follow up, “La Liberté” relives the often turbulent 100 year history of Manitoba’s only french language newspaper. “Un Musée Pour L’Humanité”, finds a group of high school students discovering the world of human rights and by extension the founding of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. 2017 witnessed the release of the adventure documentary mini-series “La Grande Traversée”. Highly anticipated and critically acclaimed, it chronicles the historic north Atlantic crossing by sail of 10 ordinary Canadians. Bravely retracing their ancestor’s footsteps, their personal journeys unfold as they face high seas and low morale and attempt to travel from La Rochelle, France to reach the “New World”… As a “raconteur”, François has the ability to draw both the audience and cast and crew alike into his world. He inspires them all to follow him, as he interprets thru his lens, the misconceptions and preconceptions of our collective lives. François calls Winnipeg, Canada home.
La Grande Traversée is an up-close look at the day-to-day adventures of six men and four women, aged 23 to 44, who undertake the tremendous challenge of crossing the Atlantic aboard L'Espérance, a three-masted schooner, in colonial era conditions.
An iconic location, an innovative entrepreneur and a renowned chef, are these the ingredients for success? England, France and Australia are just a few of the countries that have tasted Chef Luc Jean’s incredible culinary creations. But now a new opportunity beckons and has lured this exciting young chef to Winnipeg, Canada with the promise of a new challenge. “Mon Ami Louis” is the newest player on this prairie city’s busy restaurant scene. Situated on the iconic Esplanade Riel Bridge, this new kitchen will provide Chef Luc with a fresh start, and the opportunity to reflect on the challenges and the inspirations that have shaped his palate and brought him home…
Can a building change the world? Izzy Asper had a dream, to build an international centre for human rights debate and education in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. However large symbols make for large targets, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is no exception. This story follows a group of high school students as they tour the newly completed architectural icon. Through their eyes, we discover the concept of this 'Idea' museum, what it hopes to achieve and the challenges faced by a persevering group of citizens as they negotiate politics, social stigmas and personal tragedy to realize one man’s dream.
Judiciously guarding Manitoba’s French language rights for over a century, La Liberté has been a model of resiliency as the oldest French language newspaper outside the province of Québec. This documentary sheds light on the artisans of La Liberté, as they continue to promote and engage a small community, striving to survive as a minority language stakeholder in Manitoba. They share with us their serene perspectives of present social realities, the challenges of past turmoils and their hopes for a Francophone future.