A Quest for Meaning in numbers…
Months of travel
Phases of doubt
Uncontrollable fits of laughter
100% independent documentary film
Why make this documentary film ?
Finding one’s place in the Universe…
« A Quest for Meaning » is first and foremost the story of two childhood friends who meet again after 10 years... Marc exports bottled water from New York whereas Nathanaël works in water collective management... After the 2008 economic crisis and a documentary therapy, Marc realizes that he is also a part of the problem...
To understand where the system’s predatory logic comes from and seek food for thought and solutions, they will go and meet those who are building the world of tomorrow. This adventure will cast doubt on all their founding principles and beliefs as well as ours.
Who are we?
Two friends on a quest for meaning
Marc De La Ménardière
After graduating from a Business school and completing a university doctorate, Marc began his career in New York as a Business Developer for Danone. After a small accident at home, and intense viewing of documentaries on the disastrous state of the environment, he decided to put his professional life on hold and go on a road trip with his childhood friend Nathanaël Coste to make a movie about change. Since he came back to France, Marc has been cooperating with various organizations related to social and environmental matters as well as societal transition. Since February 2017, he has been working on the creation of a place dedicated to agriculture, self-knowledge and social innovation.
Marc de la Ménardière
Nathanaël, originally trained as a Geographer, has co-directed several independent documentary films. As a student, he was particularly interested in the social and cultural issues brought about by globalization (Djembé: From the Savanna to the Asphalt - Djembé : de la savane au bitume, 2003). He has directed independent films on alternative lifestyles (Agricultural Construction: a handful of helpful initiatives - Agroconstruction : un brin de pratiques solidaires, 2011), as well as several documentaries for organizations supporting Eco-friendly Agriculture, in the wake of Pierre Rabhi (Seeds go undercover - Les semences prennent le maquis, 2012 ; Replenishing the Sahel - Reverdir le Sahel, 2013). He has recently taken an interest in the issue of the inequity of resources (Soft Water, Salt Water - Eaux douces, eaux amères, 2009) and contributes regularly as an independent journalist in the specialized publication ASAinfo. He is currently involved in developing the association Kamea Meah as an alternative platform for documentary creation and distribution.
> See his Linked In Profile
Kamea Meah is a cultural association created in 2011 to support the documentary film project “A Quest for Meaning” and will allow Marc and Nathanaël to undertake their future projects while remaining 100% independent. Thus, Kameah Meah aims at assisting documentary directors in every step of the process and being involved in the distribution of inspiring movies focusing on personal and societal transition following the free pricing model. With headquarters based in the Drome Region of Southern France, the association hosts a yearly film festival entitled “Ad hoc meetings https://www.lesrencontresadhoc.com/
We also host auto-production seminars and may be able to help you with your movie or web series project…
> Visit Kamea Meah’s website : https://www.kameameahfilms.org/
The Documentary’s Main Themes
New food for thought one encounter after another…
Doing One’s Share
In light of the weakening of social links, some citizens refuse to resign themselves and decide to act locally to show how powerful a community can be. May these people who refuse distressing talks and have decided to “do their share” be the pioneers of a transitional civil society?
Democracy, Oligarchy, Elegant Simplicity
The Meaning Behind the Story
Industrial society is built around the idea of a mechanical world in which competition reigns supreme and in which Man – a selfish and materialistic being – needs to face the harsh realities of a hostile natural environment. Today, we live in a world based on this way of seeing things. In the light of recent scientific discoveries on the nature of mankind and the world we live in, how can we go about creating another vision of the world?
Anti-globalization, Cultural Creativity, Ecology
The Ancient Greek philosophers once said that before changing the world, one has to first know and transform oneself. To succeed in transforming society, don’t we have to question our personal beliefs, and examine our hidden fears, doubts, and frustrations?
Introspection, Spirituality, Belief Systems
The Causes of the Environmental Crisis
The environmental crisis we are experiencing stems from our vision of the world and our relationship with nature. Is Earth just a collection of resources to be exploited? Is it our home? A hostile environment? A source of life and wonder? Are we really separate from it?
Interdependence, Urban Agriculture, Agroecology
The People We Met
The 20 outstanding individuals who helped guide us on our quest for meaning
Vandana Shiva, world-renown Physicist, Epistemologist, and Doctor in Quantum Theory, is one of the foremost figures in Anti-Globalism. In 1993, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the alternate Nobel Prize. She has worked to protect small farmers in the face of the expansion of global corporations in the food and agriculture industry. She and Satish Kumar are the founders of “Navdanya”, an association dedicated to conserving and protecting biodiversity as well as peasant seed traditions. The Navdanya farm has trained more than 10 000 farmers in organic farming techniques.
Once a Jain monk, Satish Kumar renounced his vocation as a student, in order to join Gandhi’s agricultural reform. In 1961, he became known for his 12,000km peace walk against nuclear weaponry undertaken entirely without funding. Today, he is Editor in Chief of the magazine Resurgence, as well as Program Director at Schumacker College. Far from the cartesian logic that divides everything, Satish Kumar has a holistic vision of the world and encourages us to relish the simple joys in life.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, Professor in Molecular Biology, has taught at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin and has conducted breakthrough research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His research on the cellular membrane is a forerunner of Epigenetics, a « new science » that studies the influence of the exterior environment on genetics. A world-renown public speaker, Bruce Lipton is best known for his innovative work « The Biology of Belief », dealing with the impact of psychological phenomena on the human body.
Originally from Algeria, Pierre Rabhi is one of the world's pioneers in Eco-friendly Agriculture, a holistic approach to agriculture and human life. For the past 40 years, Pierre has cultivated a rocky terrain in the Cévennes - a dry, arid area of southern France - as an alternative to industrial agriculture. His unique life experiences have led him to write about his rapport with happiness and the modern world. He has initiated a number of social movements in France, including Terre & Humanisme and Colibris.
Anche conosciuto con il suo nome laico Lobsang Tenzin, Samhong Rinpoche è stato il primo ministro del governo tibetano in esilio a Dharamsala, in India. Inoltre è stato nominato Presidente del Parlamento tibetano in esilio e Direttore dell'Istituto Centrale di Studi Superiori Tibetani a Benares in India. Tutore e maestro spirituale del prossimo Dalai Lama, il professor Samdhong Rinpoche è noto per la sua profonda conoscenza degli insegnamenti buddisti e degli scritti del Mahatma Gandhi.
Philosopher, Sociologist, and expert in the History of Religions, Frederic Lenoir is Editor in Chief of the magazine « Le monde des religions ». He has published more than 40 written works, including essays, encyclopedias, novels, and short stories, all of which have been translated into approximately 20 langages. He also writes material for the theatre, the cinema, and for comic strips. He has been involved in the Eco-friendly movement for many years now, and encourages us to revolutionise the world in order to heal it.
Trinh Xuan Thuan
Trinh Xuan Thuan, a world-reknown Astrophysician, has become known by the public through his books, including The Cosmos and the Lotus. He was awarded the UNESCO Kalinga Prize in 2009, and is dedicated to informing the public about the Universe and the philosophical issues around it. His cultural heritage has led him to adopt a vision of the world based on Buddhism and the concept of Interconnection. He appreciates, as do his readers, the beauty and the complexity of all living phenomena.
Trinh Xuan Thuan
Cassandra Vieten, Doctor in Clinical Psychology, is the Director of the Institute of Noetic Science in California, co-founded with late astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973, to investigate human potential. Dr. Cassandra Vieten's research, as well as her articles and books, deal with Self-Awareness and the influence of our emotions on the body. At the Institute, she has developed a method based on Intersubjectivity geared towards high school and middle school students.
Marianne Sébastien, founder of Voix Libres International, has been awarded several prizes for her humanitarian efforts. Trained in the fields of Social Work, Education, and Literature, she has led an exemplary career as a Vocalist, Vocal Therapist, and Business Manager (Femme Entrepreneur 2007 - Female Entrepreneur 2007). Her dream of building a joint, loving community of young people from the mines and the streets has become a reality : in 20 years, more than 950 000 men, women and children have succeeded in transforming miserable life conditions into a positive outcome.
José Luis Tenoch Perez
This Aztec healer travels throughout Latin America giving traditional teachings to the indigenous peoples. His message encourages us to see past our own selfish desires and to live openly and honestly with others, without « camouflage ».
José Luis Tenoch Perez
Jules Dervaes is an urban gardener who, together with his family, has been cultivating a 400m2 garden behind his home since 1994. Thanks to this intensive organic agricultural project, they produce 3 tons of organic fruits and vegetables year, and are 90% autonomous in the summer. Joy and togetherness are at the very heart of their lifestyle, and they participate actively in the national campaign supporting this type of agriculture.
Tim Jackson, an Economist in search of a sustainable solution to the problem of growth and decline, was once assigned Manager of the « Sustainable Development Commission » on growth potential by English Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Just before the meeting of the G8 in London, this Commission produced a report banishing the concept of growth as we know it today. Tim Jackson's book « Prosperity Without Growth » is a major milestone in the social transformation about to take place.
Hervé Kempf is a French journalist and writer, whose involvement in the Ecological movement includes a clear, lucid interpretation of the powers that be. In his opinion, democracy has given way to an Oligarchy incapable of dealing with the current ecological and social crises. He encourages us to rethink our beliefs about wealth and democracy.
Director of the French Office for Television and Radio (ORTF - Office de radiodiffusion-télévision française) from 1952 to 1974, Arnaud Desjardins was one of the first to introduce the great spiritual philosophies in France, such as Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and Afghan Sufism (a mystic branch of Islam). At his ashram in Hauteville, France, where he passed away in 2011, he gave teachings on Self-Awareness as inherited from his teacher Swami Prajnanpad. Dedicated to spreading these schools of thoughts through to the general public, he is the author of a large number of books and encourages us to broaden our minds, do away with compulsive thought, and fully embrace the present moment.
The Story of the Film
7 years of teamwork and collaborative efforts, from self-production to self-distribution
And now for the next step : distribution worldwide !
Help us begin this new adventure by ditributing the film in your own country or network !
Relive the event “A Quest for Meaning, the experience”
held at the Cabaret Sauvage in Paris, on November 22nd 2015
The celebration for the DVD release was a wonderful experience. A big thanks to Disco Soup, and the many volunteers and guests that helped to make it possible: Anna, Joseph and Matthieu Chedid, Scotch & Sofa, Nathalie Babouraj, Roxane Julien, Ucka Ilolo, Leina Sato, Dominique Silvain, Stéphane Riot, Valérie Seguin, Marion Thelliez, Patrice Levallois, Marco Avalone, and Guillaume Sauzier.