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“The thrill festival.

The entertainment society boosted by globalization wants to subject us to the laws of the supermarket and tie us up in the corset of modern regulations. Fortunately, there is an alternative to this deadly future: adventure! It is the counter-poison to this cocktail of foresight, consumerism and moderation that commercial laboratory workers and technocratic wizards prepare for us on their benches.

Adventure provides the virtues that the managers of the “human park” (to use the terrible expression of the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk) work to combat with all their administrative strength: individual responsibility, the unexpectedness of existence, the moral and physical audacity. Adventure brings danger: a sailor admitted, the other day, on the radio, that from a purely legal perspective, the Vendée Globe race, with its skiffs thrown into the crusher of the roaring forties, was not a demonstration legal. Adventure encourages curiosity, it invites us to turn away from the screens and look out the window. It is a difficult way to get to the essential, it claims that official explanations cannot be taken for granted. A force called curiosity keeps adventurous hearts from being content with what they have learned.

The geographer Florence Trystram had depicted in one of her books the beautiful archetype of the prehistoric man, father of all adventurers, from whom one day he had taken the idea of leaving the tribe, of crossing the reassuring halo of fire of wood and sinking into darkness. He thus quenched this unquenchable human thirst: to know what lies behind a horizon. The Val d’Isère festival welcomes for four days all the descendants, the spiritual sons of this “first adventurer”, this man who wanted to know more and feel the thrill of the unknown pass through his flesh… They are sailors , mountaineers, scientists, researchers or simple travelers. We fervently hope that the thrills they experience at the beauty and mysteries of the world will be transmitted to the ranks of the Avaline public!

Sylvain Tesson

Ceremony' master

Sylvain Tesson

Sylvain Tesson studied geography and geopolitics with Yves Lacoste before devoting his life to writing and long-distance travel.

After presenting the program Montagnes (France 3), he cycled around the world, crossed the Himalayas on foot, Central Asia on horseback, walked from Siberia to India in the footsteps of gulag escapees. , traveled the Caucasus and Anatolia to investigate oil, participated in humanitarian and archaeological missions in Afghanistan.

From his adventures in the Russian Far East, Mongolia, the Himalayas and Tibet, he brought back around fifteen stories, essays and collections of short stories, most of which are available in pocket editions. His latest work recounts the life of Alpine hunters in Afghanistan: Haute tension, Gallimard. His collection A Life to Sleep Outside published by Gallimard won the Goncourt for short stories in 2009 and the short story prize from the Académie Française.

He collaborates with Figaro Magazine, writes documentaries for France 5. He loves climbing, books and horse riding. Last year he stayed in a cabin in the middle of the Russian forest for six months and is preparing a “Cabin Journal” to be published in the Nouvelle Revue Française in spring 2011.

Jury's president

Luc Jacquet

Luc Jacquet was born in Bourg-en-Bresse in 1967. From his childhood, he spent his time exploring the Ain mountains. As he says himself, he likes to “wander”, getting lost in the woods, this is where he learns the joy of blending into nature to observe the secret world of animals and plants throughout the seasons. . Luc is attracted by the scientific approach: he obtained a master’s degree in animal biology and a DEA in management of natural mountain environments. It was as part of his scientific training that he had the opportunity to make his first trip to Antarctica for fourteen months.

At twenty-four, he left on a polar ornitho-ecology mission for the CNRS and stayed at the French base Dumont d’Urville. It was there that he discovered his passion for images and began his career as a cameraman, then as a director of animal documentaries. From these various stays around the sixth continent was born his first feature film, The March of the Emperor, the story of the people of emperor penguins surviving the most extreme climate on the planet. Incredibly successful and multi-awarded, the film was awarded the Oscar for best documentary film in Los Angeles in 2006. After the worldwide success of this first film, Luc Jacquet produced another project that has been close to his heart for a long time: The Fox and the Child.

With these two recognitions, Luc Jacquet is more committed to preserving the environment: in 2010, he launched the Wild-Touch association, and puts his know-how, image and emotion, nature protection service. A first project was born from his meeting with the botanist Francis Hallé: raising awareness among the general public of the beauty and importance of primary tropical forests. The feature film Once Upon a Forest was released in November 2013, accompanied by artistic exhibitions, a collection of books, an immersion platform and an educational program. Once Upon a Forest is nominated for the 2014 Césars in the “Best Documentary Film” category.

Luc Jacquet continues the adventure in 2014 alongside glaciologist Claude Lorius as part of a multimedia project: Ice and Sky.

Laurent Bignolas


Laurent Bignolas


He traveled through 80 countries and associated territories, surveyed the slopes of the largest mountain ranges in the world (the Himalayas, the Andes), crossed the Atlantic twice by sail, joked with the Indians of the Amazon, the peoples of the Sahara and those of the far North, flew over African lakes and those of North America, had breakfasts in the Australian Bush or in the heart of the townships, paddled on the Zambezi River, between hippos and crocodiles, mushed a team of twelve dogs between ice floes and ice caps, fished for lobster in the Pacific, tested the most rustic railways, explored Robinson Crusoe’s island, crossed the border between the Urals and Siberia on horseback, crossed the most beautiful reserves African women, climbed and descended the highest dunes in the world, approached wild animals and faced human stupidity, while making friends on all continents!

After having presented, among others, the JT and 19/20 on France 3, the program “Faut pas rêver” for ten years, he now hosts on France Ô, the programs “Ô bout du monde” and “Les Aventuriers d’ Explo.”

Aurore Asso


Aurore Asso


She likes to travel through the seasons and landscapes, people, always looking for new inspirations to write, film, create a perfume.

In 2008, she resumed her studies at a journalism school. Today a documentary director, she pursues an ideal: to write with images and transmit new energy, to awaken our consciences to cultural and ecological issues, to bear witness to the value of the present time.

Alongside her professional life, she has always kept an instinct for exploration, a desire for elsewhere… Climbing peaks in the Alps, sailing, discovering Japan, New Zealand and above all the sea, always further away , always deeper.

She started freediving in Greece at the age of eight, searching for treasures at the bottom of the water. Member of the French team at the freediving world championships in Okinawa in 2010, Kalamata 2011, Nice 2012 and Kalamata in 2013, she achieved several French records in depth including -76 m in Nice in 2012 and became with her teammates vice-world champion and -72 meters in free immersion in Kalamata in 2013.

On December 18, 2013, she reached a different record, committed to the protection of a sublime natural environment: the cenotes of Yucatan. This world record, 120 m, the longest horizontal distance traveled while freediving in a cave, allows her to raise public awareness about the preservation of this unique aquifer thanks to a film she made for Thalassa.

She wants to share her underwater adventures with you and highlight endangered natural aquatic environments that we must learn to rediscover.

Daniel Fiévet


Daniel Fiévet


With a scientific background, Daniel Fiévet is a producer, host, columnist and reporter at Radio France. On France Info, he presents the “Info sciences” column. On France Inter he occasionally hosts the scientific show “La tête au carré”, a show for which he was first a columnist and reporter.

He also produced and hosted the shows “We will see that tomorrow” on the theme of the future and “Le temps d’un bivouac” on the theme of adventure and exploration.

On the sidelines of the festival





Duration4 min.

Maxence Cavalade and François Bon, two Zag riders, are having a blast in Les Arcs and Val d’Isère. François Bon, aka Faf, is the author of numerous firsts in speedriding such as the Grandes Jorasses or the north face of the Eiger, he is one of the world precursors of this discipline.




Luc Jacquet

Il était une forêt

DirectionLuc Jacquet
Duration78 min.

This session is reserved for students from Bourg Saint Maurice middle school and Val d’Isère primary school. For the first time, a tropical forest will be born before our eyes. This film synthesizes a gigantic amount of knowledge acquired over centuries. From the first growth of the pioneer forest to the development of the links between plants and animals, no less than seven centuries will pass before our eyes. For years, Luc Jacquet has been filming nature and the animal world, to move and amaze viewers through unique and exciting stories. His meeting with the botanist Francis Hallé gave birth to this heritage film on primary tropical forests, one of the major ecological issues, true green lungs guarantors of life on Earth.




Jean Thomas Renaud

Aigle des Neiges hotel

Un drône dans la Savane

Duration52 min.

“A Drone in the Savanna” traces the extraordinary adventure of two photographers in search of new angles for their wildlife shots. Using a curious flying machine, Michel Denis-Huot and Jean-Luc Fornier attempt to take astonishing images in Kenya’s largest reserves.

SUN TRIP discovery activity

Tuesday April 15th from 2:30pm - Margherio Square

The Sun trip meets in Val d’Isère! Come discover and test the solar bikes of the adventurers of this crossing of Central Asia.

“Bivouac” demonstration and initiation

Thursday April 17th from 10am to 12pm - Aquasportif center

Belgian climbers Sean, Stéphane and explorer Evrard Wendenbaum come to share with you their experiences of wall bivouac. On the program, an introduction to bouldering with Yannick, our climbing instructor and a “bivouac” workshop with the Belgians, you will learn everything about the secrets of life on the side of a rock!

Photo exhibitions – Congress Center


Photographer - Vincent Munier

Through large format photographs, come and discover these emblematic animals of Scandinavian lands: reindeer and musk oxen. Vincent Munier lives in the Vosges, his homeland. Passionate about the great wild spaces, he chose photography to express his dreams, his emotions and his encounters. Influenced by certain Japanese photographers and painters, he is increasingly a fan of minimalist art. The encounters he has in cold desert landscapes reflect a quest for solitude, the challenges that a man can experience facing nature and himself. He has been awarded three times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the most prestigious competition in nature photography.

Gombessa, rencontre avec le cœlacanthe

Photographer - Laurent Ballesta

The marine biologist and naturalist photographer from Montpellier, Laurent Ballesta, reveals here unpublished photographs of the mythical animal and its unknown ecosystem through this exhibition which will reveal the secrets of this incredible expedition to South Africa. Also worth discovering is the complete technical equipment of the autonomous diver for explorations at depths of more than 120 meters. full-scale ! Throughout the festival, find the mysterious giant of the depths with the coelacanth footprint in full size.


Photographer - Evrard Wendenbaum

Through a selection of around twenty images, photographer and explorer Evrard Wendenbaum takes you to China, Algeria, India, Venezuela, Indonesia, Pakistan, Argentina, Madagascar but also Switzerland and France discovering our planet from a new angle: that of adventure in all its forms. Canyoning, packrafting, climbing, skiing, caving, highlining, sea kayaking, kite buggy, so many disciplines to travel the world in freedom.

Sylvain Tesson

S’abandonner à vivre

Faced with the blows of fate, there are not thirty possible choices. Either we struggle, we struggle and we act like the wasp in a glass of wine. Either we abandon ourselves to living. This is the choice of the heroes of these short stories. They are sailors, lovers, warriors, artists, perverts or travelers, they live in Paris, Zermatt or Riga, in Afghanistan, in Yakutia, in the Sahara. and they would have been better off staying in bed.

Galimard Editions.

Luc Jacquet, Francis Halle

Il était une forêt

With his new film, Once Upon a Forest, Luc Jacquet takes us on an extraordinary journey deep into the tropical forest, to the heart of life. For the first time, a tropical forest is born before our eyes. From the first growth to the blossoming of the giant trees of the canopy, including the development of hidden links between plants and animals, no less than seven centuries will pass. Once Upon a Forest offers an exceptional immersion into this wild world remaining in its original state, in perfect balance, where each organism – from the smallest to the largest – plays an essential role. The book of the same name intelligently completes the film by giving essential information on each living being, animal or plant, which makes the tropical forest magical, sensory, abundant. richly illustrated, Once Upon a Forest is an almost initiatory journey where the reader discovers an incredible universe, teeming with life, from its undergrowth to the tops of its largest trees.

Editions Actes Sud.

Vincent Munier

Solitudes I & II

These two bilingual works (French and English) present the work of photographer Vincent Munier in an original format: one vertical volume, the other horizontal. Animal shadows and delicate portraits, moving silhouettes in the mist and camouflaged animals bring these two reveries to life on paper. Two complementary books which compose a dazzling picture of vast solitudes, enhanced by poetic thoughts chosen by Matthieu Ricard.

The first volume goes straight to the sky. The eye is guided along the branches, tumbles with a waterfall, falls with the snow and happily follows the outline of the shore or the contour of the stones.

The second volume caresses the earth. The horizon, architect of each image, invites the eye to get lost in the storm, to merge with the mountain crests or the whiteness of the ice floes and to contemplate infinity.

Laurent Ballesta

Gombessa, rencontre avec le cœlacanthe

Never before had he been photographed in his world. It was believed to have been extinct for 60 million years, having witnessed the emergence of waters 370 million years ago.

Having already set out twice in pursuit at a depth of more than 120 meters, Laurent Ballesta has dreamed of this timeless encounter all his life. After bringing back the first photos of this peaceful giant in its natural environment in 2010, he organized a scientific expedition in 2013 to study it, accompanied by scientists from the National Museum of Natural History. This mission made it possible to take unique photos of our aquatic ancestor and its ecosystem that have never before been illustrated. Laurent Ballesta gives us today more than 200 unpublished photographs in a work where adventure notebooks and anecdotes, educational explanations and confessions of a passion finally consumed in the pursuit of his personal holy grail mingle.

Photo reportage