September 21, 1969 |
Frédéric Dieudonné is an award-winning writer, a filmmaker and a producer, environmentalist and creator of the Jules Verne International Film Festival, born in France, September 21, 1969.
Education and early career
In 1986, Dieudonné graduated from highschool and earned his Baccalauréat in Literature and Foreign Languages, with honors, at the age of 16. He then was admitted at the Lycée Janson de Sailly of Paris where he prepared for competitive entrance exams (Classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles) to L'École Normale Supérieure de la rue d'Ulm (Hypokhâgne and Khâgne). After earning a master's degree in Modern Literature, with honors, from the prestigious Sorbonne University of Paris in 1991, he founded the nonprofit Jules Verne Adventures the same year, along with Jean-Christophe Jeauffre. Dedicated to exploration, environment, filmmaking and education, the organization is now based both in Paris and in Los Angeles. In 1992, Dieudonné and Jeauffre launched the annual Paris Jules Verne Festival, inaugurated by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. This event, now also based in Los Angeles, is dedicated to exploration, education and conservation. Then they developed a production unit to create new adventure & exploration programs for television. The Jules Verne Festival is held each year in April at the Grand Rex theatre of Paris, Europe's largest movie theatre, where it attracts more than 35,000 visitors and guests.
From 1999 on, Dieudonné co-produced several films for TV via Jules Verne Adventures, including Devil's Islands and Red and White. A five-month expedition on the Atlantic aboard the tall ship Belem led to his production of the highly acclaimed and award-winning documentaries:
- Whales of Atlantis
- Amazon Trek (2008 Best Feature Documentary Award, White Sands International Film Festival, New Mexico)
- 100 Years Under the Sea
- Five Months on the Sea – the Jules Verne Expedition.
Two fully illustrated books were also published after the expedition (Jean-Christophe Jeauffre (2003). L'expédition Jules Verne à bord du Trois-Mâts Belem (in French). Équinoxe. ISBN 978-2841353521. and Jean-Christophe Jeauffre (2002). Esquisses d'un voyage Amazonie-Martinique-Açores. Carnets d'ailleurs (in French). Michel Bez (illus.). Équinoxe. ISBN 9782841353460.).
In 2006, Dieudonné wrote, directed and co-produced the Jules Verne Adventures TV documentary Explorers: From the Titanic to the Moon, starring producer/director James Cameron and veteran Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. All of the aforementioned films are now being distributed in the US on DVD and Blu-ray with narrations by Sir Christopher Lee and Ernest Borgnine.
The latest expedition he produced for the Mars Institute and NASA is the Northwest Passage Drive (2009–2010): the first motorized crossing of the Arctic Sea. As an executive producer and a consultant, Dieudonné is currently developing both a feature documentary called Passage to Mars and a Science Fiction feature film to be produced in Hollywood.
- Festivals and special events
In 2005 Dieudonné and Jean-Christophe Jeauffre founded the American version of the French nonprofit Jules Verne Adventures. It is based in Downtown Los Angeles and maintains an IRS 501(c)3 status. The inaugural American launch of the Los Angeles Jules Verne Festival (October 2006 at the Shrine Auditorium) has celebrated the work of George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Dr. Jane Goodall and James Cameron and attracted 6,300 attendees.
The Jules Verne Festival traditionally includes an awards ceremony during which selected explorers, environmentalists, filmmakers and movie stars are presented with the Jules Verne Award. Among others, the Jules Verne Award was given to Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Charlotte Rampling, Claude Lelouch, Johnny Depp, Christopher Lee, Patrick Stewart, Mark Hamill, Buzz Aldrin, William Shatner, Tippi Hedren, Stan Lee, Ray Bradbury, Ted Turner, Richard Dean Anderson, Larry Hagman, Christopher Reeve, Roy E. Disney, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Steve McQueen, TV series Heroes, Lost, Stargate SG1 and Battlestar Galactica cast and crew, and has celebrated movie classics such as Blade Runner, Star Trek, Superman, Forbidden Planet, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Some Like It Hot and The Wild Bunch.
- Anne Riley-Katz (June 18, 2007). "Jean-Christophe Jeauffre, co-founder of the 19-year-old French festival, said that the decision to come to Los Angeles was driven in part by the city's status as the entertainment industry's home, but for other reasons as well.". Los Angeles Business Journal.
- Julie Riggott (October 17, 2008). "Jeauffre and Dieudonne first presented the festival in Paris in 1992, and it has since grown, attracting 40,000 people over the course of six days and becoming recognized globally as the most significant film festival devoted to adventure and exploration.". The Los Angeles Downtown News. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012.
- "Frederic Dieudonne and Jean-Christophe Jeauffre co-founded the festival 19 years ago in Paris, where it has been a rousing success. Recognizing the U.S. market, they exported it to Los Angeles, and found an audience. The festival was a great addition to Downtown.". The Los Angeles Downtown News. December 14, 2007. Archived from the original on January 3, 2013.
- Eric Richardson (August 13, 2008). "The space hosted its first group of local schoolchildren earlier in the morning, giving the kids from Normandie Elementary School a chance learn about conservation and the environment. "In this venue, every week, two classes of school-age children will open the Porthole and dive into the multiple worlds of our fascinating planet," festival co-creator Frédéric Dieudonné explained. "They'll be able to enjoy films, as well as meet and interact with filmmakers, conservationists, scientists and real-life explorers."". Blogdowntown.
- Julie Riggott (August 11, 2008). "The lounge is named the Porthole because "it symbolizes the idea of travel and exploration," said Dieudonne. "It's meant to make people escape their everyday life and get inspiration."". The Los Angeles Downtown News.
- Terry Keefe (October 25, 2008). "The event is put together and hosted by Frederic Dieudonne & Jean-Christophe Jeauffre, both filmmakers themselves, who come to L.A. each year to produce the event.". The Hollywood Interview.
- Jeff Sneider (October 11, 2006). ""I've been trying to get to Paris to accept this award for years but I've been working on that 'Star Wars' thing," quipped Lucas. "This is an important festival for me because it's about larger issues than just making movies. It's about the environment, and that's always a more interesting kind of event to take part in."". Variety.
- Henrick Vartanian (August 13, 2010). "Jules Verne Festival founders, Jean-Christophe Jeauffre and Frédéric Dieudonné explain: "Our aim is to foster a culture of sustainability in a rarely reached yet important new audience in a fun and entertaining way."". Brave New Hollywood.
- Susan King (November 8, 2010). "On Thursday, the Jules Verne Festival is paying tribute to Steve McQueen at the Cinerama Dome. The late actor's son, Chad, will accept the Jules Verne Legendaire Award from the festival's founders, Jean-Christophe Jeauffre and Frederic Dieudonne.". LA Times.
- Susan King (November 11, 2009). ""The Wild Bunch" is riding into town for a special 40th-anniversary screening Thursday at the venerable Million Dollar Theater in downtown L.A. Jean-Christophe Jeauffre and Frederic Dieudonne, founders of the Jules Verne Festival, are presenting the screening, with all proceeds going to the Jules Verne Nature & Education Program.". LA Times.
- ""We will reassemble the cast and crew of the movie… as well as other celebrities that are connected somehow to Peckinpah's work, like actors that played in other movies he made," said Jules Verne Festival director Frédéric Dieudonné.". The Los Angeles Downtown News. November 6, 2009.