A new documentary about Memphis-born dance sensation Lil’ Buck examines the crossroads between brilliant art and community values in a daring and moving film that honors the very values it depicts. Sarah Zarka and Guillaume Pommier, Federation Entertainment, the distributor, present you Lil’ Buck – Real Swan

The Interview

TV France: What made you choose to represent this documentary internationally?

Sarah Zarka : The film was a hit when it came out in cinemas in France, and many of us in the team absolutely loved it when we saw it. Even if this isn’t the usual timing, we wanted to approach the producer to secure the right to represent the film internationally. The timing coincided perfectly with Federation’s first forays into the distribution of documentaries, building on its good reputation for kids content and drama. The viewer’s deep admiration for Lil’ Buck, the emotion aroused by the beautiful images created by Louis Wallecan, their perfect harmony with the movements of the dancer and the brilliant original soundtrack by Arthur B. Gillette all make us proud to include this film in our documentary catalog.  

TV France: What is your view of his art?

Guillaume Pommier : Lil’ Buck is a singular and inspiring person, but his art, his approach to dance, this spin-off from hip-hop he called jookin, that’s what really struck us. We all had the impression that we had already seen this kind of dancing, but when it’s performed by Lil’ Buck, his very soul shines through and captures the viewer’s eye. As his dancer friends from Memphis explain, it was originally inspired by gangsta walk, but we are impressed by Lil’ Buck’s capacity to blend into different environments, often far from the style of his Memphis homeland.  

TV France: Going beyond his biography and his art, the documentary also examines social issues.

Sarah Zarka : The director Louis Wallecan explains the importance of showing Lil’Buck in Memphis, within his community, and the activities he pursues today, even after he has become famous. He explains that the dancer has never gone far from the town where he first emerged, and that he gives a lot back in gratitude for all he has received with a dance academy that he created and where he teaches. These values of sharing and passing on skills are important for the director, who believes that the role of artists is to unite people, to take the time to listen to and understand them. These values are also at the heart of the dancer’s philosophy and in fact of the film itself. It is above all a message of peace, and we are certain that will resonate particularly well at the current time.  

TV France: You opened Le Rendez-Vous Docs with a Super Highlight dedicated to this beautiful documentary, and you gave participants an excellent taster of Lil’ Buck’s best work.

Guillaume Pommier : Absolutely. Lil’ Buck’s style is familiar to many, as his dance steps have traveled the world through high-end advertising videos (Apple, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Lexus), films (Her, 2013 – Spike Jonze), and concerts (Alicia Keys, Madonna). This video shows the extend of Lil’ Buck’s popularity, and allows the viewer to appreciate his art in spectacular settings which he elevates even further. We should also point out that we were honored to open Le Rendez-Vous Docs 2021, which helped us generate some very satisfactory leads. It was, as ever, a pleasure to work with TV France International, and we hope we’ll have further opportunities to present such engaging new programs in Biarritz.