Thomas Balmès has been working as an independent director and producer of nonfiction films, specializing in international co-productions, since 1992. His initial projects included studies of filmmakers James Ivory and Michelangelo Antonioni.
Mr. Balmès directed his first film in 1996; Bosnia Hotel was the story of U.N. Kenyan peacekeepers in Bosnia. This was followed by Maharajah Burger; Mad Cows; Holy Cows, about the mad cow crisis as seen from the Indian perspective; and The Gospel According to the Papuans (2000). The latter, tracking the conversion to Christianity of a Papuan Chief, was honored with the Silver Spire Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
He directed a sequel in Papua the following year, Waiting for Jesus. A Decent Factory, the story of a Nokia executive who inspects a mobile phone factory in China, was screened at more than 50 film festivals and received many honors, including a Europa Award. The film was released theatrically in the U.S. in 2005.
Damages, a.k.a. How Much Is Your Life Worth?, was filmed at a Connecticut law firm specializing in personal injury cases, and was co-produced by 15 countries and broadcast worldwide.
Mr. Balmès initiated a series for national Japanese television, Tokyo Modern; and produced A Normal Life – Chronicle of a Young Sumo Wrestler, directed by Jill Coulon, which screened at Amsterdam's 2009 International Documentary Film Festival.
He is regularly invited to conduct lectures and master classes in France; and abroad, such as at the 2008 Lisbon International Film Festival, and at Brown University and the Watson Institute in 2009.