Retrospective of the year 2021: Ariège and its inhabitants in the spotlight

the essential
During this year, Ariège and its inhabitants have in turn been put forward on the national scene, sometimes even international. We take a look back at those moments that marked both the small and the big screens.

15 timeless adventurers in the Lombrives cave

The adventure underground and out of time “Deep Time” will have toured the world. Last April, cameras from around the world were focused on the Ariège where fifteen volunteers entered the Lombrives cave to live there for forty days, without any notion of time. The objective of the experiment, developed by the explorer of the extreme, Christian Clot, was to study the adaptation of the group in a difficult environment – 10 ° C and 100% humidity – deprived of contact with the exterior and any notion of time.

For the experiment to be complete, the fifteen adventurers had to follow their own cycle, notably of sleep, without disturbing that of the others. Naturally, groups were formed inside where the days were punctuated by the exploration of the cave in order to develop a more precise topography as well as the observation of the underground biodiversity. At the same time, very precise monitoring of individual behavior was carried out outside and inside, where the adventurers had to answer a series of questions.

Forty days later, the Deep Time crew members who remained outside came to announce the end of the adventure. And this, to everyone’s surprise. Because in the ranks of the adventurers, no one had the same notion of time, punctuated by the sleep cycle of each.

When they left, paler and emaciated, the fifteen volunteers of the experiment found themselves in front of an audience of journalists. And for good reason, the experiment, totally unique and unprecedented in its kind, had been around the world. About forty journalists were accredited to collect the first impressions of the “voluntary recluses” of Lombrives. In total, no less than sixty countries followed this great adventure during the beginning of the year, and Christian Clot’s television and radio interventions were numerous in the weeks following their release. Enough to promote Ariège and place the magnificent Lombrives cave on the map.

A story that he decided to put down on paper and that he was able to present at various book fairs, in particular in Pamiers, a few weeks ago. And the experience has not finished talking about it because we are still impatiently waiting for it to deliver its first results. Not to mention that a documentary filmed on site should be produced very soon. And broadcast, perhaps, on a platform well known to all. To be continued.

Jean-François and Mélanie, two Ariégeois stars of “L’Amour est dans le pré”

Jean-François, breeder of Ariège sheep, this year formed the “darling” couple of the program “L'Amour est dans le pré”, with Mélanie.

Jean-François, breeder of Ariège sheep, this year formed the “darling” couple of the program “L’Amour est dans le pré”, with Mélanie.

The adventure began at the beginning of the year and will have kept the Ariège people in suspense for a good part of the summer. Jean-François, breeder of sheep in Haute Ariège, was a candidate to find love in the famous program broadcast on M6: “Love is in the meadow”. To everyone’s surprise, the Ariégeois had ended up meeting… a Fuxéenne – Mélanie – with whom he shared many points in common. Their meeting, filmed during speed dating in Paris, had moved millions of viewers, placing them straight away as the “darling” couple of this 16th season.

During the summer, viewers were then able to follow the start of the romance between the two Ariégeois during a stay on the farm in the Luzenac valley as well as in the county town, at Mélanie’s. Both very attached to local heritage and traditions, the images broadcast on the M6 ​​channel were a magnificent showcase for the department. Between mountains filmed by drone, visit of the castle of the Counts of Foix privatized for the occasion, passage to the theater of Espinet where the members of Foix land of history in period costumes gave an overview of their summer historical shows and magnificent images of the transhumance of Jean-François, the love affair of the two Ariégeois has turned into a real ode to the heritage and cultural riches of Ariège.

If the adventure has come to an end a few months ago now, Jean-François is now enjoying new popularity. For the time being, his romantic future has not been clearly discussed, but the Ariège farmer is not closing the door to possible new television appearances, in particular in the now well-known program, broadcast after “The” Love is in the meadow ”, and entitled“ Love seen from the meadow ”.

In the meantime, with an average of 4 million viewers for each broadcast, the M6 ​​show has been a real summer soap opera followed both in the department and throughout France.

André Téchiné started filming “Les pieds sur terre”

The actor Benjamin Voisin in front of the Coustaux-d'Orgeix castle, the main setting for the film “Les pieds sur terre”.

The actor Benjamin Voisin in front of the Coustaux-d’Orgeix castle, the main setting for the film “Les pieds sur terre”.

Director André Teychiné and his teams moved into Haute Ariège at the end of May 2021 to start shooting the feature film “Les pieds sur terre”. They will return in January 2022 to film the scenery during the winter. All under the watchful eye of Carlos Conti, production designer, who received the César for best sets in 2021 for the film “Adieu les cons”.

At the beginning of June, the Coustaux-d’Orgeix castle, the film’s main setting, hosted several renowned actors. Among them, Benjamin Voisin, nominated for the César 2021 for best male newcomer for his role in “Summer 85” by François Ozon (2020), as well as Noémie Merlant, recipient of the Lumière 2020 for best actress for the film “Portrait of the young woman. girl on fire ”by Céline Sciamma (2019).

In Ariège, the actress played the sister of a soldier, David, played by Benjamin Voisin. Seriously injured during an operation in Mali, he was repatriated to Paris for treatment. His sister, Jeanne, then decides to return to Ariège, to the family home where they both grew up. His goal is to help him find a memory lost following his accident.

Accompanied in particular by André Marcon, nominated for the César 2020 for best actor in a supporting role for “Marguerite”, the young actors played in several sets including the Coustaux-d’Orgeix manor, the village of Orgeix as well as a cave. located near the Saillens stream, at the exit of Mérens-les-Vals. The team had to change the cave since inside the one initially chosen, too porous, a rock of about 850 kg fell.

The production was hosted at Château Villemur, in Ax-les-Thermes, where it was able to set up its offices. Many businesses and residents of the city contributed to the well-being of the entire team and to the smooth running of the shoot.

Beautiful escapes in the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees in the spotlight.

The Pyrenees in the spotlight.

In October, the cameras of the program of Echappées Belles crisscrossed the Pyrenean chain. For this new opus, the presenter Ismaël Khelifa was accompanied by Jacob Karhu, who for seven months voluntarily cut himself off from the world by settling near the Beille plateau, at an altitude of 1,700 meters, in a refuge he has patched up with the means at hand.

After starting filming in Toulouse, the team then moved to the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (Hautes-Pyrénées). At the end of a weekend spent in the bowels of the astronomical observatory, the small group took over the management of Mélanie Zervos’ department and restaurant, Le Clos Saint-Martin – La Métairie, for a culinary experience.

The show will be broadcast on January 8 on France 5.

But also…

The Télématin trike stopped at the Mas-d’Azil cave

Last April, Loïc Ballet’s red and white checkered tricycle, host of the culinary section in Télématin on France 2, stopped off in front of the Mas-d’Azil cave. The opportunity to highlight natural and traditional Chinese cuisine while drawing a parallel with our ancestors, the Magdalenians. Our ancestors, before the invention of agriculture, having been hunter-gatherers, gatherers like Yuanyuan, a young woman of Chinese origin, living in Ariège since 2016 and who therefore shared the screen with Loïc Ballet to discuss her cuisine around wild plants.

The cult game of the thousand euros of France inter à Lacave

It was only a few weeks ago. The famous game of the thousand euros of France Inter stopped at Lacave to record several programs. Hosted by Nicolas Soufflet, the game was recorded at the village hall. In total, three programs were recorded, two for adults, the third specially reserved for young people from Ariège. They were then broadcast during the week of December 13 to 17 on France Inter.

The Maison des Cimes in L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre in a documentary on France

Broadcast on the occasion of the international day for the fight against violence against women, France 3 devoted a long documentary filmed before the health crisis on the experiment carried out at Maison des Cimes in the heart of the mountain village of L’Hospitalet- near Andorra.