Synopsis: Distant adventures, long-term travels, Damien loves them. But he does not think it necessary to cross 36 meridians for the thrill of exploration and discovery to be at the “rendez-vous”. In 2012, he initiated a series of small-scale local adventures, the first chapter being written in Chartreuse. With two friends, two athletes, he ran across the mountains from Chambéry to Grenoble : full autonomy, no marked trails, nor, for sure, roads or tracks. No, the program of this short trip was of pure off-road running, and old trails the human world had forgotten… Through the eyes of Damien, those of his fellow runners and colorful characters they meet, we rediscover the mountains from home. We just need to make one step aside…
One summer, I was looking through my office’s window with a canceled airfare in my hands – I was about the go shoot a film in Afghanistan when the main character had to change plans. The view was that of the usual beautiful sunrise over the Crtreuse mountains. And I tought, do I always need to travel the world to find excitement, exploration, fun and beauty? What if I go out the door just now and run across that whole range of mountains stretching ahead of me? What will happen? Am I so sure I know this area? And what if I change the rules? no marked trails, no sign-posted hiking paths. Out in the wild. How will those beloved and well-known mountains look from THAT perspective.
That’s what the film is about: freedom, excitement and exploration in one’s own backyard.
This and more: I didn’t foresee it, but it so happent that not everyone was happy with me running outside of the hiking network. In fact, many weren’t happy at all, yet I went ahead and met some and kept running, because, as you will see, their objections to my project were not clearly clearly grounded. I hope the film will make people think it through; I hope it will make people laugh and have a good time, just as I did. I hope it will make them feel like running wild, running free!
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