Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  52 minutes
Date:  2016
Genre:  Expository
Language:  French / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color
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A Baptism of Fire

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A new generation of freelance photographers flies low-cost to war zones on their own dime in the hope of selling images to printed media or websites.

A Baptism of Fire

'As it gets harder to sell pictures, we take greater and greater risks,' explains Corentin Fohlen. A war correspondent still in his twenties, Fohlen is part of a new generation of freelance journalists who fly to war zones from Libya to Afghanistan on their own dime in the hope of selling images to news media outlets.

But the carefree attitude of youth can change when confronted with the harsh reality of life in wartime. When a colleague is killed in Syria, Fohlen's thirst for adventure turns into a deeper reflection on the meaning of work and life. Director Clement-Wilz followed Fohlen through shells and bullets for four years in order to create this riveting portrait of the life of a contemporary war correspondent.

'Risk your life to show the conflict and suffering of the world? This original documentary testifies to the passion of a photojournalism: Corentin, not yet 30-years-old, has already spent six years in the business. From the chaos of Cairo to Homs, from Haiti to Libya, we see him at work, equipped with a helmet, gas mask and bulletproof vest.' - Le Monde

'A young photographer's first wartime experiences are documented in A Baptism of Fire. Shot on the ground, in the heart of danger, the film exposes raw emotion, pain, reflection and laughter.' - Les Inrocks

'One of the best documentaries of all time. [Director Jerome Clement-Wilz] follows his friend through shells of bullets to bring to light the daily lives of these news junkies.' - Vanity Fair, France


** Best Documentary, 2015 Luchon Film Festival France
** 2015 International Festival of Audiovisual Programs (FIPA)
** 2015 GZDOC Film Festival China
** 2015 DOK Leipzig Film Festival


Main credits

Clément-Wilz, Jérôme (film director)
Fohlen, Corentin (performer)
Caza, Jérôme (film producer)
Epale, Charlotte (film producer)

Other credits

Jérôme Caza, Charlotte Epale, producers.

Distributor credits

A film by Jerome Clement-Wilz

Docuseek2 subjects

Journalism and the Press
Middle East and North Africa
Documentary Films
Politics and Political Science
Human Rights

Distributor subjects

Middle East
Political Science
Human Rights


photography; war photographer; photo-journalist; middle east; arab spring; "A Baptism of Fire"; Icarus Films; Corentin Fohlen; Syria;

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