Patricia Boutinard-Rouelle (pictured), the former director of documentaries at France Télévisions, is launching her new indie Nilaya with an ambitious doc special marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the Algerian War, realscreen can reveal.
Nilaya is producing the tentatively titled La Guerre d’Algérie (The Algerian War) for French terrestrial channel France 2, to air in 2012 – half a century after France’s occupation of Algeria came to an end.
Boutinard-Rouelle is hoping the 4 x 52-minute program will air as a high profile, two-part special over two days, as France Télévisions’ Second World War ratings-winner Apocalyse did. While no air date has been set as of yet, the Algerian war ended on March 19, 1962, making a spring 2012 launch a likelihood.
The documentary is being directed by acclaimed French director Patrick Rotman, who has past experience in documenting the Algerian conflict – his credits include 1992 film La Guerre Sans Nom (The War Without A Name) and 2002 effort L’Ennemi Intime: Violences Dans La Guerre d’Algérie (Intimate Enemies: Violence In The Algerian War), the latter of which originally aired on France 3.
Talking to realscreen, Boutinard-Rouelle said she hoped the program would be the ultimate documentary on the eight-year conflict. “With the Algerian War, what’s happening today in France is that there is an echo – a sort of resonance – and people need to know this historical background,” she said, adding that she felt it was time to talk about the conflict “in a new, peaceful way, and tell every side of the story.”
The news comes after realscreen first revealed earlier this month that Boutinard-Rouelle was leaving France Televisions after 16 years to set up a Paris-based production company. At the time, the indie was yet to be named; however, it will now be called Nilaya, which means ‘blue heaven’ or ‘abode in the blue’ in Sanskrit.
Boutinard-Rouelle will launch the indie at MIPDoc in Cannes this coming weekend (April 2), where she is also giving a keynote speech offering reflections on her time with the French broadcaster.
As revealed last week, France Télévisions will not replace Boutinard-Rouelle, instead reorganizing its documentaries department to pass more power to specific channel commissioners.
- Check out the March/April issue of realscreen magazine for the full interview detailing Boutinard-Rouelle’s plans for her new indie. Not a subscriber? Click here for more information.