Carcassonne: behind the scenes of the preparation of the International Political Film Festival

A few weeks before the 5th International Political Film Festival that starts on January 12, 2023 in Carcassonne, focus on those who manage its organization.

It’s not just men on the team!” Henzo Lefèvre, the director of the International Political Film Festival that is the 5e edition will take place from January 12 to 16, 2023 in Carcassonne, surrounded that day by three collaborators, is due to this precision. It’s true that the festival team list includes a good fifty names, including mostly women. Beyond the diversity of profiles, ages and even origins of team members, Henzo Lefèvre highlights the importance of the commitment of his staff. “That is also the soul of this festival. It is certainly serious and has a demanding program, but it remains a human adventure carried by the will of dozens of people, to give it life for an audience , in one city and one territory.”

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Breakfasts between artists and the public

Dominique Lumia, the festival’s House and Salon manager, is a good example. He joined the organization of the festival on the 2nde edition of the festival, shortly after its arrival in Carcassonne 4 and a half years ago. This Belgian of origin, who has worked extensively at music festivals in Belgium, tells how he chooses to invest in volunteering at the service of the festival. “I want to join the life of Carcassonne. It may be just a ‘sword in the water’, but I have met great people, respecting their words, ambitions, desires.“His extroverted personality and his accessibility perfectly characterize the “living places” of the festival, which he is responsible for coordinating. This year, he will be in charge of two areas: the “Salon du festival”, traditionally located in the Place Carnot and the “Maison du festival” near the Dome, a new one.”It will be a meeting place for artists and the public, there will be activities, there we will talk, eat.“, he describes. Complete by Henzo Lefevre: “With a bit of originality this year, we will have breakfast there every morning with the film crew and the public. We want to take the opposite view of VIP zones and continue to promote the accessibility of artists“.

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“One hundred volunteers”

Olivier Zoppi, the current head of human resources and technical facilities, is also involved as a volunteer. “In the beginning, I welcomed the public, I held the doors, sent the microphones … now I take care of recruitment, communication, I check the adequacy of the profiles to the needs of the festival. The annual event seems in any case to attract goodwill. Henzo Lefèvre determined that 2022 was a record year in terms of “Carcassonne applications”. The celebration team, consisting of “over a hundred volunteers“, also has some freelancers, specifically for its communication. Only Robin Berthomieu, its deputy director, has employee status in the “base” association Regard Camera.

Benefits for local merchants

The life of the International Political Film Festival is also punctuated by many partnerships established in the city and its surroundings, especially favored by the fact that the infrastructure is present in sufficient quantity in Carcassonne to welcome the artists as well as the public , explained Henzo Lefèvre, who estimated at “300,000 euros, the economic benefits for the Aude territory” of the last edition. With many collaborations with sponsors, associations and other hotel structures, the set up with restaurateurs became the subject of that day’s trip. Henzo Lefèvre explained that the request made to the merchants was not necessarily involving the implementation of a reduced rate.”We know that current times are complicated for restaurateurs. What we ask is a highlight of the celebration, for example in the creation of a special menu, where we can talk to the public.“.

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Le Rideau Rouge, located on rue Courtejaire, is one of these partner restaurants that will offer a defined menu. Cindy Serres, its owner who was visited by Henzo Lefèvre and his partners, said she was happy to be part of a project “which enliven the city and contribute to its cultural identity“. A collaboration that was born last year, and which he intends to continue to develop.

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