It is a story of persistence and optimism. A story of decline and rejuvenation, of loss and recovery, of the vicissitudes of fortune in a changing world...
It is also the story of a struggle that has just begun. Introducing new wines into a market that is already well established and extremely competitive, is only one of the challenges facing these adventurous new wine makers.
My name is Geoffrey Finch. I am a long-time resident of France, a wine walker, taster, teacher, explorer, and writer.
Having just finished a book about the largely unknown vineyards of Paris (on bookshelves this autumn in English and French), I launched myself headfirst into researching the renaissance taking place in the vineyards of Île-de-France (the region surrounding Paris). The subject proved so rich-the vineyards are stunning and the people running them amazing—that I decided the story will be better told as a documentary film.
I have already found the perfect partner.
Laurent Chalet was the director of photography for the Oscar winning, 'March of the Penguins' and has since won many other awards. Together we’re working on a treatment and a presentation. Which is where you come in.
We have already put an enormous amount of work into developing this project. But we still have a lot to do to bring this story forward and your contributions to this crowdfunding will enable us to do that.
The wine map of France hasn’t evolved in centuries, and the Paris region doesn't even appear to be a part of it. But a profound change is currently underway, and the world is unaware.
In 2016, the ban on commercial wine production in the region around Paris was lifted, and in 2020 there were five IGPs awarded (Indication géographique protégée - similar to an AOC).
This is a David and Goliath story about a group of natural winemakers passionate about sustainable agriculture that have fought and lobbied for twenty years for the right to again produce wines in the region. It is also a joyful and surprising story of the rebirth of a wine culture that fell into decline and neglect, and has now, once more, come alive.
Climate change, organic farming, and why planting vines is a 'win win' for the environment are also part of the story, addressing environmental issues that are of ever greater concern. It might be said that planting a vine is like planting a tree and a vineyard is like planting a forest. Vines, when cultivated organically, which is currently the case for all of the vineyards of the Paris region, are thus contributing to the fight against global warming.
Paris: New vines, new wines
Once upon a time, the largest and most reputed of all wine regions in France was not Bordeaux, Bourgogne or Champagne.
It was the region around Paris.
What happened? How, why, and when did the vines disappear? And more important, why are they now back, potentially producing better wines than ever?
Our crowdfunding on Indiegogo was a success and we are very grateful for that! However, our financial needs exceed the contributions we received. That is why we are continuing our donation campaign here.
There are three main areas of funding: research and development, which includes meeting with wine producers, visiting vineyards, travel expenses, reading, taking notes, visiting archives and museums and taking photos; writing a pitch, treatment, presentation, short video clip, structuring a script; finding producers, preparing and making the pitch and presentation. Another aspect of this pre-production work involves exchanges with illustrators, cartographers, animators and the constitution of a film crew.
We presented our project to a Parisian production company on 21 April and are awaiting a response. Our exchanges are promising but nothing is decided yet. Despite this, we are preparing our first shoot for May 21st. Stay tuned for more info..
Our Instagram account will provide a window into our progress as well as offering more comprehensive coverage of vineyards and wine producers.
PRE-PRODUCTION CROWDFUNDING PARIS: NEW VINES, NEW WINES
Start of project, pre-production: 1st February until ... (crowdfunding)
Anticipated start and end of production: From 20 May 2022 to 1 December 2023.
Crew expenses - 50%
Transportation - 20%
Material - 12%
Social media - 8%
Marketing - 6%
Documentation - 3%
The first challenge is structuring all the research documentation, contacts and personalities into a marketable film. Finding the right producer is the second and then writing the script is the third. The only other risks we should face are meterological, as most of the film will be shot outdoors. But living in Paris means we're close to our subject and so should have the flexibility of shifting things around last minute. We are confident that this story will inspire a broad range of viewers, from seasoned wine professionals to the simply curious, and ultimately change how the world sees the wine map of France. The work we are doing with this film, will in fact help to put the Paris region back on that map.
This is a project that is not just about wine. It is also about people who choose to farm the soil, at times in urban surroundings. It is about climate change, ecology, land conservation, and overcoming obstacles. It is about history and the stories that vines tell, and will also feature a number of the most beautiful and recognisable historic monuments of the Paris region...