Tënk grew from the irresistible desire to share our passion for auteur documentaries.
Tënk’s aim is simple – to get you (finally!) to discover or rediscover exceptional documentaries that the public no longer encounters because they were only screened at festivals, film schools and in connoisseur circles. Films from cinema, festivals, independent audio-visual productions, international films, contemporary films, rare films, cult classics, niche documentaries – all the documentaries you’ve always wanted to watch but didn’t know where to find – are available on Tënk!
The films we love are the exception in the flood of images washing over our societies. Although they show what exists, what is “real”, they champion the subjectivity of perspective, the diversity and infinite complexity of experience. They are inhabited by the present – you could even say it’s their raw material – but they unfailingly anchor it to the long term. Ultimately, they educate us, but by calling upon our sensitive intelligence, the same intelligence we use when contemplating a work of art. These are films that encourage us to think.
Because changing the world is an overwhelming task, auteur documentaries set themselves the more modest challenge of changing our way of looking at the world. These fragments of lives, of humanity and of poetry are all acts of learning about ourselves, our lifestyles and living conditions and our relationships with others. Auteur documentaries appeal to our curiosity and it’s with this in mind that we invite you to join us.
Tënk is not a film bank. To counter the usual overwhelming abundance, Tënk favours a handmade selection of editorial decisions that take full responsibility for their subjectivity. Our team of programmers, twenty or so men and women from the professional auteur documentary network, seeks out films to propose to our subscribers.
What’s more, the films are short-lived. This, too, involves the choice of not offering everything at any given moment to ensure that the films are not inert objects on a shelf or in a database, but, on the contrary, screened for a limited time so that they are alive, accompanied and part of a thought-out strategy. For these reasons, the principle of “rolling” programming seemed particularly well suited. Every week, some films arrive and others disappear, creating a kind of permanent documentary ballet that makes up the substance of Tënk: films that we grasp as soon as they appear, films that we make time to watch, and others that, in two days, will no longer be there, and it would be such a shame to miss them… (But rest assured, many of them will be available to rent!).
Right from the start, we felt that the films that were going to become the substance of Tënk could not be pigeonholed and compartmentalised as they are in the traditional boxes imposed by television programming. This subtle difference was very important to us. Making the most of a new medium, we wanted to define our own geography, and this is how Tënk’s scopes emerged. These scopes gradually took on their own forms and, in contact with our programmers, became distinct groupings. Each team appropriated its own space and made its “box” a “grouping” or scope apart.
It was obvious that our programming would be far richer and more diverse if it were collective, and we were lucky enough to be able to count on a large network of documentary enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Directors, programmers, technicians, critics, producers, lecturers and so on, all scouring cinemas, festivals and their own film collections to suggest to Tënk the films that made an impression on them. We owe Tënk’s wealth and diversity to our programmer friends who give it this interlacing of worldviews, this plurality of cinema perspectives.
Tënk’s architecture is steep and rugged; being complex and polymorphous, it’s in tune with our times, but it sets itself apart by its refusal to comply with a norm and the idea of a “general public” that shares the same expectations. There are as many viewers as there are ways of receiving or creating a film. Tënk is a space for encounters, a melting pot of angles. Tënk is in perpetual motion; it shifts and throbs and it’s here, in this constant flux, the point of convergence for all these perspectives, that, for us, the truest and liveliest portrayal of our world is to be found.