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Thierry Garrel


Former director of the French Department of Documentary Film at TV Arte, Vice chancellor for Animation and Video Art, as well as producer and director of numerous documentaries. He currently holds workshops of documentary film for students around the world.

Thierry Garrel, a French Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, has chosen for forty years to defend and foster creative and auteur-driven television programmes made by committed filmmakers involved in the documentary scene of their times. He has devoted major efforts to broadcasting ambitious and daring programmes on public service television channels and thus providing viewers  with the key to a universal  experience via unique and original subjects and writing styles.

Mr. Garrel joined the ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française) Research Department at the age of 20 and went on to head the Documentary and Junior Authors Division  at the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA). From 1987 until 2008, he was the Head of the Documentary Film Department of La Sept and ARTE France.

While in this position, he developed many highly remarked series, ranging from “ PALETTES”, “CONTACTS”  and “ARCHITECTURES” to “CINEMA DE NOTRE TEMPS”, from “CORPUS CHRISTI” to “SERIE NOIRE AU CREDIT LYONNAIS”, from “MEMOIRES D’EX” to “HOMMES DE LA MAISON BLANCHE”. Mr. Garrel also developed the renown “GRAND FORMAT” collection which has coproduced and aired over 200 international award-winning, feature-length documentaries.

He supported many famous filmmakers in their early days, including Nicolas Philibert, Rithy Panh, Claire Simon, Claudio Pazienza and Raoul Peck, and has worked with world-renown documentary filmmakers, such as Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Richard Dindo, Amos Gitai, Jean-Louis Comolli, Johan Van der Keuken, Volker Koepp, Iossif Pasternak, Bob Connolly among others. He continues to lend support to promising young film directors from over the world.

Thierry Garrel has made a major contribution to the renaissance of the documentary genre, both in terms of encouraging diversity and the emergence of an independent production sector engaged in International co-productions.

Previously a Board Member of the “Histoire” Channel (at the time public), he is currently a Member of the EURODOC Training Programme Steering Committee and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Amis du Cinema du Reel association.

In 1982, Mr. Garrel was awarded the “Grand Prix Television” by the Société Civile des Auteurs Multimedia (SCAM) for the magazine-format programme entitled “JUSTE UNE IMAGE”. In 1999, he designed a travelling cinema exhibition programme for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“LE DOCUMENTAIRE C’EST LA VIE”). A tribute to his work was organised at the National Gallery of the Jeu de Paume Museum in 2001 (“88 PROGRAMMES FOR A CREATIVE PUBLIC TELEVISION”).

He has been President of the documentary jury of festivals such as Doclisboa (Portugal), Fipa (France), Astrafilm (Romania), Visions du Réel (Switzeland), Biarritz-Latin-American Festival (France).

Since 2009, he works as an independent consultant and is devoted to “experience feedback”, by tutoring international seminars (Eurodoc Executives Seminar for documentary commissioning editors from all over the world 2009/2012), workshops (Aristoteles Workshop for young filmmakers from Eastern Europe, Romania 2009/2011) and master classes for graduating students (Paris, Roma, Barcelona, Bogota).


Lectures, workshops and seminars in the last 5 years (2008 -2012)

03/2008 Sam Spiegel Film and Television School -  Jerusalem (Israel)  / 5 days
04/2008 Femis – Paris (France) / 1 day
07/2008 Master documentari – Roma (Italia) / 2 days
10/2008 ESEC Paris (France) /  1 day
06/2009 Eurodoc Executives Seminar – Rotterdam (Holland) /  5 days
08/2009 Aristoteles Workshop – Sibiu (Romania) / 5 days
10/2009 Eurodoc Executives Seminar – Gorizia (Italia) / 5 days
02/2010 Master Universite Paris 8 – Paris (France) / 1 day
05/2010 Master Universitat Pompeu Fabra – Barcelona (Espana) / 2 days
06/2010 Eurodoc Executives Seminar – Timisoara (Romania) / 5 days
08/2010 Aristoteles Workshop – Vama (Romania) / 5 days
09/2010 Eurodoc Executives Seminar – Arles (France) / 5  days
02/2011 Master Documental Creativo UAB – Barcelona (Espana) / 1 day
06/2011 Eurodoc Executives Seminar – Marija Bistrica (Croatia) / 5 days
07/2011 Aristoteles Workshop – Vama (Romania) / 5 days
09/2011 Eurodoc Executives Workshop – Nimes (France) / 5 days
10/2011 Archidoc – Paris (France) / 2 days
11/2011 Ecole des Sciences Politiques – Paris (France) / 1 day
12/2012 Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design – Geneve (Suisse) 1 day
02/2012 Femis – Paris (France) / 2 days
10/2012 Archidoc – Lisboa (Portugal) / 5 days
12/2012 Archidoc – Paris (France) / 5 days

Courses planned

Documentary Film Workshop 1 & 2