Addicts, an urban social thriller

Four characters in search of redemption, struggle with their past in the “tough”
neighborhood known as the Cité du Lac. One day, a robbery is suggested.
Will they be swayed by the temptation of easy money and the dream of
escaping the daily grind? One-time delinquents, they’re not exactly angels,
and its these flaws that make them so endearing. What future will they
choose? Every character in Addicts acts and reacts, but who is really pulling
the strings? Perhaps its you…

From the 15th November 2010 Addicts will be written up daily online
at addicts.arte.tv. Then on the 17th of December you can watch the
dénouement, by which time we will have put together close to one hundred
modules totalling over 200 minutes.

A whole new layout dedicated to ‘Addicts’.

Addicts has a non-linear narrative and the website takes advantage of internet
as a medium by offering an unprecented digital experience. Designed by
Websiteburo in Bordeaux, the new layout was thought to contribute to
the addictive nature of the series and to create a completely new way of
browsing.

The website

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday new episodes are put on line. Visitors
to the site can watch 5 episodes of their choosing:

- The episodes showing the four main characters. Every module is a
puzzle, viewers have the chance to watch the clips individually and put
them in the chronological order they wish.
- The GAV episodes, when the main characters are under interrogation by the
police, allow the viewer to experience the action in a different chronological
order and mean that the viewer discovers the facts at the same time as the
police.

Four characters living life on the edge

Addicts is at the same time fiction and reality. Set against a backdrop of
multiple temptations, the characters are sucked in and manipulated as a result
of their addictions.

Saad, always in and out of prison, meets up with friends on the day he is
released. He comes up with a plan to carry out a robbery, but both his friends
and the neighbourhood have changed.

Damien is Saad’s best friend, they’ve been through prison and much more
together. He’s a changed man with a wife and child, but he is burdened by
huge debts. Will he be able to resist the temptation of robbery?

Djibril, who has never been in prison, has changed his ways as well. Saad
can’t believe it when he finds out that Djibril has become a fashion designer… Djibril
tries to help his friends fight their demons, but when the difficulties multiply he
begins to lose hope.

Anna, passionate and committed, believes that cinema can change the world.
She moved into the neighbourhood whilst Saad was serving time and in
attempt to save local youngsters as well as herself she perseveres with her
film project set in the neighborhood, despite the obstacles in her path.

A story like no other

An adventure is born out of numerous interactions

It was January 2009 in the Aubiers neighborhood in Bordeau when two young
men eager to produce a short film, approached the screenwriter Lydia Hervel
armed with 6000 euros in funding donated by ARTE.

Lydia Hervel had been running writing workshops for a few months within the
neighborhood. With the two aspiring writers in tow, she presented their project
to the producers at ARTE. This project would end up a web-fiction. She is put
in contact with Mascaret films and set up a new professional writing workshop
that Vincent Ravalec, among others, participated in. Vincent Ravale was
enthusiastic about the project. and met the talented inhabitants of Aubiers,
their lives become the scenario and they themselves actors.

From writing to producing

Addicts had been conceived differently, the original plan being that viewers
could almost ‘break into’ the story whenever they wished.

Vincent Ravalec developed a scenario that incorporated hyerlinks, meaning
that the viewer acts as a spy, observing the action and performing the difficult
task of separating truth from lies. This new work highlights the dilemmas
surrounding addiction and as such it is a social commentary that individuals
can relate to.

Vincent Ravelac’s idea evolved during shooting: improvised scenes
example bolster the realism of the film. Producing a film always blurs the
borders between fiction and reality.

In June 2010, Vincent Ravelec and his team filmed in the neighborhood
over a period of two months. 90% of the Addicts cast originate from the
neighborhood.

A unique and innovative way to encourage audience participation, the budget
for Addicts was an impressive 1,180,000 euros.