For its 30th anniversary, Figra in Douai on the front line of a tormented world

Figra 2023 visual.

Multiple screenings, with seventy films divided into five competitions, but also theater (From silence to explosion by the company Le Passe-Muraille), debates (including one on the media’s treatment of the ecological emergency), a photographic exhibition (“Between wars and peace, thirty years of photographs by Goran Tomasevic”), workshops aimed at initiating young people to the language of the image.

To celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in style, the International Festival of Major Current Affairs and Social Documentary (Figra) is multiplying its avenues and thinking big. From the first edition, organized in November 1993 in Le Touquet, until this thirtieth meeting, from May 30 to June 4 in Douai, Figra has traveled without leaving the Hauts-de-France region, which has always supported this ambitious event: Le Touquet, Lille, Saint-Omer, again Le Touquet, before settling in Douai since 2021.

Georges Marque-Bouaret, founder and general delegate of the festival, today measures the progress made: “At first, I was unaware of the importance that the festival would take over time. It has become what I wanted: a meeting place for great reporters, directors, documentary filmmakers who travel the planet in all directions, in search of truths to reveal to us, which are sometimes so difficult to reveal. Sharing with a curious, interested, surprising audience…”

Sections “Land(s) of history” and “Otherwise seen”

Figra’s primary mission: to be a witness to the reality of the world on the big screen. Thirty years after its debut, the conclusion is clear: “ The world is no better than it was thirty years ago, it is more essential than ever to hear its echo”, notes Georges Marque-Bouaret. All the more reason to bring these realities to the general public through quality documentaries which, from the war in Ukraine to Afghanistan via Argentina, Palestine, Nepal, Guinea, the Republic of Congo, the ‘Ecuador or Ethiopia, tell the story of the world as close as possible.

Sixteen documentaries of more than forty minutes and fourteen others of less than forty minutes were selected in the International Competition category. Created in 2009 to honor documentary filmmakers who use world history archives, the Land(s) of History section presents thirteen films in competition.

For their more intimate look at the world through portraits, stories of disrupted lives, thirteen films are offered in the Otherwise Seen section which, from theater in the suburbs to emergency physicians via ecological commitment or harkis, casts a wide net.

Other categories are also scheduled, including Coup de Pouce, created in 2008, which allows selected directors to defend their project in public and before a professional jury; and, for the first time, the Prix des Collégiens du Nord: students from the 4are from the André-Streinger College in Douai will watch the fourteen films of less than forty minutes from the International Competition, for which they will designate a winner.

Throughout this edition, a selection of award-winning films at Figra 2022 will be visible at the Majestic cinema in Douai, including the remarkable Wagner, Putin’s shadow army, by Alexandra Jousset and Ksenia Bolchakova.

The 30th anniversary of Figra in Douai (Nord), from May 30 to June 4 (

Read also: “Bringing people from the shadows into the light”

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