Babies

| October 15, 2010

Title:Babies [videorecording]

Director:Thomas Balmès

Produced by: Focus Features, 2010

Check It Out: RJ134 .B33 2010 DVD

From the Production Company: The adventure of a lifetime begins…

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmès, from an original idea by producer Alain Chabat, Babies simultaneously follows four babies around the world – from birth to first steps. The children are, respectively, in order of on-screen introduction: Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani; Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan; and Hattie, who resides with her family in the United States, in San Francisco.

Re-defining the nonfiction art form, Babies joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.

A Focus Features presentation of a Chez Wam/StudioCanal co-production with the participation of Canal +. Babies. Executive Producers, TBC Productions, Chez Wam. Original Idea, Alain Chabat. Adapted by Thomas Balmès. Edited by Craig McKay, A.C.E., Reynald Bertrand. Produced by Alain Chabat, Amandine Billot, Christine Rouxel. Music by Bruno Coulais. Directed by Thomas Balmès. A Focus Features Release

About the Author: Thomas Balmès has been working as an independent director and producer of nonfiction films, specializing in international co-productions, since 1992. His initial projects included studies of filmmakers James Ivory and Michelangelo Antonioni.

Mr. Balmès directed his first film in 1996; Bosnia Hotel was the story of U.N. Kenyan peacekeepers in Bosnia. This was followed by Maharajah Burger; Mad Cows; Holy Cows, about the mad cow crisis as seen from the Indian perspective; and The Gospel According to the Papuans (2000). The latter, tracking the conversion to Christianity of a Papuan Chief, was honored with the Silver Spire Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. He directed a sequel in Papua the following year, Waiting for Jesus.

A Decent Factory, the story of a Nokia executive who inspects a mobile phone factory in China, was screened at more than 50 film festivals and received many honors, including a Europa Award. The film was released theatrically in the U.S. in 2005.

Damages, a.k.a. How Much Is Your Life Worth?, was filmed at a Connecticut law firm specializing in personal injury cases, and was co-produced by 15 countries and broadcast worldwide.

Mr. Balmès initiated a series for national Japanese television, Tokyo Modern; and produced A Normal Life – Chronicle of a Young Sumo Wrestler, directed by Jill Coulon, which screened at Amsterdam´s 2009 International Documentary Film Festival.

He is regularly invited to conduct lectures and master classes in France; and abroad, such as at the 2008 Lisbon International Film Festival, and at Brown University and the Watson Institute in 2009.

On the Web:

Rotten Tomatoes

New York Times

Psychology Today Blog

Village Voice