When arriving in Cambodia 25 years ago, Christian and Marie-France des Pallières discovered the inhuman daily life of the children in Phnom-Penh, forced to dig in huge open-air garbage dumps in order to find food and survive.
Step by step, they fought to take them out of this hell and change their lives. And what was only a small nursery near the garbage dump at the beginning became one of the most wonderful schools in the world, the one of the association «Pour un Sourire d'Enfant» (For a Child's Smile).
«My happiest memory is when i was told i could go to school. It was in 1996.» (Sinoun)
«If PSE hadn't existed, I wouldn't be here, I probably would have died on the garbage dump ...» (Sok Nov)
«PSE started on that day in 1995 where we saw those children eat in the garbage of the open-air dump in Stung Meanchey in Phnom-Penh. It made me want to scream ! After seing that, it was just impossible to go on with our usual lives. Something had to be done.» (Christian des Pallières)
Through several testimonies and moments of life, Les Pépites shares the deeply moving fight of this french couple to give 10 000 cambodian children their life back and a future.
Directed by Xavier de Lauzanne, it will be realeased in movie theatres on October 5th, to celebrate the 20 years of the association « Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant » founded by Christian and Marie-Pierre.
10 years ago, Xavier de Lauzanne directed a 52mn documentary on « Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant » for the TV channel France 5. The story was so powerful that it was obvious it had to be shown on the big screen. Thus, Xavier decided to shoot this documentary with the ambition of making it a true moment of cinema.
Les Pépites was thought for the big screen from day 1. Emotions we shared with an audience, in a movie theatre, are always much stronger than alone in front of a TV. That's what Xavier had in mind when he directed his documentary. He shot during several weeks in Phnom-Penh using a technical equipment that allowed him to capture unique scenes and moments of grace. These scenes, along with images of children from as far as 20 years ago, shine a light on their unbelievable destiny, and bring us in an emotional rollercoaster with an optimistic ending.
Xavier de Lauzanne
Passionate about the visual arts, he developped his filmaking skills after he first met the founders of "Pour un Sourire d'Enfant" 15 years ago. He shot the communication trailer of the association, and then from 2002 to 2005 he directed several documentaries in France and abroad for TV channels. He then directed The lord of Darjeeling,The Students' Goncourt, and In one voice, a documentary following an orchestra composed of both israelians and palestinians musicians, that received several awards in festivals.
Bonne Pioche Cinéma
Founded by Yves Darondeau, Christophe Lioud et Emmanuel Priou in 1993, Bonne Pioche produced among other movies The March of the Penguins and the Fox and the Child, and several TV shows on adventurous trips. Faithful to its editorial line oriented toward a family audience, Bonne Pioche wishes to surprise the spectators with original and inspiring stories, that carry them in unexpected places full of emotions.
Aloest Production Aloest Productions was founded by two childhood friends, Xavier de Lauzanne and François-Hugues de Vaumas, in 2001. The two entrepreneurs first started in the documentary and institutional films production. These two complementary activities allowed them to acquire a real expertise in audiovisual communication.
Since 1992, Rezo Films discover young talents and defend accomplished directors. Founded by Jean-Michel Rey, Philippe Liégeois and Nadia Lssoujade, Rezo Films has distributed over 200 movies and advocates an ambitious cinema, as well as a popular one.