The international documentary festival FIPADOC has released the full programming slate of nearly 200 titles for its fourth edition, to be held in its home base of Biarritz on the French Atlantic coast from January 17 to 23, 2022.
At time of writing, the festival is proceeding as an in-person event. However, the recent announcement that Sundance is going all-virtual in response to the spike in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant — as well as the cancellation of the January Realscreen Summit and its rescheduling to Dana Point, California in June — portends that other major events in the early months of 2022 may end up following suit. At press time, organizers of the Berlinale’s European Film Market had confirmed to Variety that the market would be going online for the second year in a row due to the ongoing pandemic, but plans for the February festival remain in place, for now.
Originally established in 1987 with a focus on all-genres television production, the festival rebranded as FIPADOC in 2019 and gave itself over completely to transmedia documentary. The 2022 edition features four competition categories — international documentary, French documentary, musical documentary, and Impact, which spotlights docs that champion social justice, human rights, or environmental awareness — as well as several specialty selections, including the youth-oriented Campus program and the SMART showcase of digital documentary experiences, including VR, podcasts, web series, and more.
The international slate evinces a strongly topical focus, with films about the global refugee and migrant crisis (Batata from Lebanon, The Last Shelter from Mali), the human and environmental impact of the oil industry in Myanmar (A Thousand Fires), and the tentative rebirth of democracy in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe (President).
Historical docs maintain the serious mood. The archive-based Babi Yar. Context, by celebrated filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (Maidan, State Funeral), explores the 1941 massacre of more than 30,000 Jews by the Nazi Army and Ukrainian auxiliary police, while Michal Weits’s Blue Box excavates the history of Israeli expropriation of Palestinian lands through the private diaries of the director’s grandfather. Polish director Pawel Lozinski’s The Balcony Movie brings a lighter touch with its slice-of-life, person-on-the-street interview conceit.
The festival’s guest of honor this year is veteran filmmaker Heddy Honigmann, who will be saluted with a screening series of some of her most notable films. Titles include The Underground Orchestra from 1997, about international musicians who perform in the Paris Metro, and the Netherlands-based director’s most recent project, 2021′s No Hay Camino (There is No Path), about Honigmann’s battle with cancer and return to her roots in her birth country of Peru.
For the full line-up, visit the FIPADOC site via fipadoc.com/fr/selections.