71° Solitude Nord
Synopsis: She used to be a manual worker. 10 hours shifts, little money. But she always was dreaming about travelling. She thus became a mountain guide, but quickly she made it clear it wasn’t enough. She wanted Adventure with an upper case A. Like “Alone”. Like “Amazing”. Without prior knowledge of the Arctic, she launch herself on a long journey, alone through the winter, across Lapland’s territories on skis: Finland, Norway, Sweden. She was to cover 1200 km of ice and snow pulling a sled weighing 71 kilos. She was to face storm, extrem cold, hazardeous climbs. She was to experience the trip of her lifetime…
For Damien, this film brought together many aspects of adventure he longed to put under light at once. The case of a lone woman roaming some foreign and remote parts of the world was a superb illustration of what women can achieve, in spite of what modern society still promotes as the conventionnal status for women – espcially knowing the very modest upbringing of the character. Nathalie’s view on her endeavor is both poetic and very rough and it was hard-work to capture this seemingly contradiction and portray a person who is a raw power of nature by herself. Finally, it was a challenge to shoot a film in the harsh conditions of the Arctic with no support, no assistance whatsoever, in full autonomy, just using one’s brain and common sense to overcome the daily hardship and challenges: dealing with batteries and cameras in extreme cold temperatures, properly render the barren and rugged beauty of those forgotten territories, give shape and rythm to a timeless journey.
Damien started working as an independant filmmaker after a 2.5 years worldtour on a tandem bike. The revelation came as a bit as a shock: he never had a camera for himself before and wasn’t interested in one (said he), but suddenly, upon departure, a local television prompted him to film his journey with his lover. And wahoo! he realized he was probably meant to tell stories, shoot images and edit films. When that first long journey ended, Damien fully (read: with passion, heart, energy and lots of mistakes) launched himself in a career as an independant adventure filmmaker. Ever since he produced all the films you can see on this website, at a dizzy rate of 2 to 3 films per year.
2015: Mutation At The Summit, ascent and freeride down Svalbard’s summit without legs… – 1 film, running time 10 or 60 minutes, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals
2015: Winter Tyres Mandatory, riding a fatbike accross the Vercors range in winter pulling a sled – 1 film, running time 35 or 60 minutes, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals
2014: Univertical, running across the White Teeth mountain range in lightweight mode and autonomy – 1 film, running time 60 or 26 minutes, broadcast on tv
2014: The Tale Of Jack Frost, the making-of “71° Solitude North” shot, written and edited as a standalone adventure film about fatbiking and shooting films in the arctic cold – 1 film, running time 22 minutes, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals worldwide
2014: 71° Solitude North, a lone woman skis across Lapland on her own, pulling a sled heavier than herself – 1 film, running time 52 min, screened at festivals worldwide
2013: Jor, ski adventure across the Jura Range as if it was the Far North – 1 film, running time 52 or 26 min, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals
2013: Autarcies, riding a tandem with 2 kids across the Spanish mountains to investigate on ecovillages – 1 film, running time 60 min, screened at festivals worldwide
2012: One Step Aside, running across the Chartreuse mountain range outside of sing-posted paths and regular trails – 1 film, running time 30 min, broadcast on TV and screened at festivals
2010: No Man Iceland, across Iceland on a tandem with a baby, looking for the Queen of the Elves – 1 film, running time 52 min, broadcast on TV & screened at festivals worldwide + a short documentary
2009: The Big Detour, 2.5 years around the world on a tandem – 3 films, running time 52 min each, broadcast on TV & screened at festivals worldwide + numerous free videos and short documentaries