State Builders

A 75-minute documentary by
Florence Martin-Kessler & Anne Poiret
Broadcast on ARTE on July 9, 2013.

For more infos, press review & contact
please see here.

In 2011 the Republic of South Sudan became the world's newest State and the United Nations'193rd member. After a 50-year civil war, which killed over 2 million people, the stakes and hopes are high. Everything is to be invented from scratch, starting with national identity. Starting on the day of its independance through the implementation of the first foundations of the fledgling democracy, the film follows Lise Grande, deputy head of the UN in South Sudan and Riek Machar, former guerrilla chief and newly appointed Vice President, as they attempt to build the new State. MORE


Florence is a French documentary filmmaker who has worked out of Bombay, New York and Paris over the last 15 years. She was a 2011 Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, and teaches a weekly workshop at the Paris University Sciences Po about storytelling. Selected filmography:

  • "Cut Up" (Quark / Arte, 10x6’, 2009), a series of short documentary films.
  • "The Caste Struggle" (Quark / Arte, 52’, 2008), on modern Indian democracy.
  • "The Man with the Golden Cells" (13 Production / Arte / NFB Canada, 52’, 2007), an exploration of the worldwide trade surrounding the human body.
  • "The Citizenship Project" (BFC Prod / France 3, 52’, 2002), about the making of new Americans.
  • "Manhattan Charity" (Archipel 33 / Arte, 52’, 2001), an inside look at philanthropy in New York.

Anne Poiret,

Anne is a filmmaker and investigative broadcast journalist based in Paris. Anne has often filmed the traumas of the “neither peace, nor war” situations in the Middle East, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Africa. She won the most prestigious journalism award in France in 2007, the Albert Londres Prize, for her film shot in Sri Lanka "Muttur: a Crime Against Humanitarians". Other films include:

  • “The Forgotten Genocide” (52’, 2011) It is the first of the twentieth century, yet no one remembers the genocide of the Herero and Nama in Namibia in 1904.
  • "The Khmer Rouge: the Impossible trial" (52’, 2008), the ambivalence of contemporary Cambodia, where victims and torturers live face to face.
  • "The Road of the Iron Curtain" (52’, 2009), log book along the former Iron Curtain, in search of the people who lived close to the abyss.

Quark Productions, Patrick Winocour and Juliette Guigon.

Quark was established in Paris in 1994. 10 years later we were awarded the “French TV producer of the year” Jury prize. Quark privileges a creative approach for engaging documentaries, bringing innovative storytelling art and freedom of tone on international stories and perspectives. Our catalogue includes “Bosnia Hotel” and “Maharajah Burger” by Thomas Balmès selected at ten international festivals, “Smoking Kills”, a documentary comedy by Andres Jarach selected at INPUT 2005 and other festivals, “How Putin Came to Power” nominated for the 2006 Emmy Awards, “The Democratic Revolutionary Handbook” by Tania Rakhmanova, produced with a dozen of European broadcasters, “A Normal Life” directorial debut by Jill Coulon selected at IDFA 2011. The interactive webdoc platform we co-produced with Arte and the National Film Board of Canada called won the Golden Award at the FIPA in January and was selected by the very prestigious FWA, Favorite Website Awards, which recognizes the very best in cutting edge website design. We are also currently coproducing a new documentary by Thomas Balmes “Happiness”, (ARTE, BBC Storyville, ITVS, etc...)
Our website

QUARK Productions & ARTE France present, in coproduction with RITA & IKON, with the participation of RTS, RSI, UR, TG4, TV3, EuskalTV, ETV2, with the support of Bertha Britdoc Documentary Journalism Fund & the European Union's MEDIA Program