West Coast Premiere • Documentary • France, Switzerland, 2017

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 100 min

Directed by: Jean-Stéphane Bron

Cinematography: Blaise Harrison

Film Editing: Julie Lena

Produced by: Philippe Martin (Les Films Pelléas), Bande à Part Films, France 2 Cinéma, Orange Studio, Opéra national de Paris

International Sales: Les Films du Losange

U.S. Distributor: Film Movement

Release date: 2017


The Paris Opera is not so much a peek behind the curtain of a French cultural institution as it is a peek on stage from behind the curtain. For a period of nearly two years, documentarian Jean-Stéphane Bron was given unprecedented access to both the creative and administrative machinery that runs the prestigious venue. Casting a lighter eye on the seriousness that is associated with the Paris Opera, this portrait of a close-knit creative community follows an impressive array of storylines, including the challenges facing newly appointed general director Stéphane Lissner, the growing pains of Russian newcomer Mikhail Timeshenko, casting a live bull for Schoenberg's Moses and Aaron, and a national labor strike that leads to some white-knuckle performances. In an increasingly fragmented world, this is a backstage pass to a universe where passionate, talented individuals come together for the common goal of staging a great work of art.

Paris Opera Musical Director Philippe Jordan, will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Hall, during the week of the festival, April 28-30.


For Swiss documentarian Jean-Stéphane Bron, curiosity is part of his job description.  Over the last two decades Bron’s curiosity has taken him to such unexpected places as Cleveland, where his Cleveland vs. Wall Street (2010) told the troubling story of an attorney who tried in vain to hold 21 banks responsible for the wave of foreclosures that racked the city. L'expérience Blocher (2013) is a prescient and intimate portrait of right-wing Swiss presidential candidate Christoph Blocher on the campaign trail. Fascinated with inner workings of government, Bron’s first film Connu de nos services (1997) follows Claude Muret, who discovers that as a youth he was under close surveillance by the Swiss government as part of a secret policy to monitor “malcontents”.  In 2006, Bron made a detour into fiction with the comedy Mon frère se marie, about a Vietnamese mother who is in for a surprise when she decides to visit her son, who was adopted by a Swiss family 20 years earlier.