stories from around the world

EXPRESSION. The 18th edition of the Reunion Adventure Film Festival continues until May 19. This event, which has become a must, is a real invitation to travel. Meeting with two directors from the 2022 vintage.

After a forced absence due to Covid, the Réunion Adventure Film Festival is making a comeback on the péi cultural calendar. The event, which officially started on April 30, will continue until May 19. This year, six adventure films have been selected by the organization (see elsewhere). As in previous editions, the protagonists come to present their works to Reunion spectators and schoolchildren.
Sophie Planque and Jérémy Vaugeois as well as Caroline Riegel and Emmanuel Armand are among the guests of this beautiful 2022 vintage. The first duo has criss-crossed the entire American continent by bike. “In 2021, we were already part of the selection, but the Festival was canceled. We were called back to announce that it was renewed this year, and here we are!”, specifies Sophie Planque. With her companion, Jérémy Vaugeois, she traveled 28,743 km on her two-wheeler, from June 2017 to September 2019. This extraordinary journey was transcribed in her film, “Alaska Patagonia, the great crossing.” We warn you: the images are breathtaking!
The second team went to Zanskar at the beginning of 2020. This high valley of the Himalayas is located in the northwest of India, in the state of Ladakh. There, Caroline Riegel and Emmanuel Armand joined Buddhist nuns. They are “faithful friends” of the director, whom she met 15 years earlier and who “turned upside down” is known. “This film follows a previous documentary I made in 2015. It dealt with the consciousness of happiness and I had traveled through India with the nuns. They, who had never left Zanskar, were going discovering their own country, she explains. In “Zanskar, the promises of winter”, the adventurer finds these inspiring women at home, at the top of their snowy mountain, but nothing goes as planned.
When we meet such adventurers who, like us, have known the comfort and opulence of the Western world, a question immediately comes to mind: why? What are the reasons that push these men and women to embark on such trying challenges for the body and the spirit, even dangerous? Their motivations are plural and personal: self-transcendence, discovery of the world and of others, a taste for adventure… “When we travel, we are stripped of all our layers, we are naked in front of others. Each story pierces our hearts. When we leave the person we met the day before, we cry because they are farewell. It’s very strong!”, adds Sophie Planque while Caroline Riegel nods in approval. For ordinary mortals, they often appear like gentle madmen whose determination commands admiration. But when we see the images and the testimonies they bring back, we can only thank them for going after their dream, for having taken us to these distant lands and for having exposed us to these cultures so different from ours.

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Aurora Turpin

> Films in competition
As part of this 18th edition of the Réunion Adventure Film Festival, six films are in competition
– “Alaska Patagonia, the great crossing”, by Sophie Planque. Sophie and Jérémy criss-crossed the American continent by bicycle.
– “Rosy”, by Marine Barnerias. Marine, a 21-year-old student, learns that she has multiple sclerosis. She decides to leave for a long initiatory journey in 3 countries: New Zealand, Burma and Mongolia.
– “Elsewhere alone in Africa”, by Anselm Nathanael Pahnke. A solo adventure in the South African Kalahari Desert, by bike.
– “Zanskar, the promises of winter”, by Caroline Riegel. The director of this film fell in love with Zanskar, a landlocked valley in northwestern India. 15 years after her first trip, she decides to film winter in these mountains.
– “The Crossing”, by Ben Tibbetts. World-class athletes Valentine Fabre and Hillary Gerardi are trying to be the first women to ski the Haute Route non-stop from Chamonix to Zermatt.
– “The long walk” by Pierre Stine. Cwi and Kamaché, two bushmen, and Aleksandra Orbeck-Nilssen, a 27-year-old former Norwegian top model, set out to cross Namibia under a blazing sun.

> On your calendars
The films “Alaska Patagonia, the great crossing” and “Rosy” will be screened at the Téat Champ Fleuri this evening at 7.30 p.m. Tomorrow, still at the same place and at 7.30 p.m., spectators will be able to discover “Zanskar, the promises of winter”. Finally, this Friday, May 13, still at 7:30 p.m., the Téat Dionysien will broadcast “The crossing” and “The long walk”. The closing evening of the Festival will take place on Thursday, May 19 at Lespas in Saint-Paul.

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