by Meg Floyd
Today I bring news of a new kickstarter for a feature-length documentary called BACK TO THE SOURCE being put together by British photographer, filmmaker, and fencer Cédric Hauteville, whom you may remember as the photographer whose work was featured in the picture of Peter Smallridge in the New Year’s Advice from Five Fencers article earlier this year. I strongly encourage you to visit the Kickstarter site to watch the video preview there. Cédric’s own introduction to the project is below.
A look into practitioners of Historical European Martial Arts, reviving centuries old fencing styles according to period sources.
I’m Cédric, a freelance photographer and independent filmmaker.
I’ve been practising Historical European Martial Arts for over two and a half years and I noticed that whenever I explain to other people what I do, there are often a few misconceptions about it. In an effort to clear some of those misconceptions and introduce this wonderful activity to a wider audience, I’ve decided to make a feature-length documentary about it.
What is this about?
Historical European Martial Arts, or HEMA as we call it, has a really broad spectrum, and while I’m aiming to touch most aspects of it, the focus of the documentary will be on the most popular subset of HEMA, which is historical fencing.
The documentary will present how people go from finding fencing manuals written several centuries ago to understanding the techniques described in them, training to master them and applying them in friendly or competitive fights. It will also look into how people are designing weapons and protective equipment to make the practice of these martial arts as authentic and safe as possible. It will also look into the strong community that it has, and how those sword-wielding historians share and test their knowledge.
It is targeted at people who don’t know anything about HEMA, giving them a look into the arts and their practitioners. I’ve already interviewed some of the most notable figures of the British HEMA scene:
Matt Easton from Schola Gladiatoria
Fran and Piermarco Terminiello from the School of The Sword
Martin Austwick and Lucy Easton from the English Martial Arts Academy
Keith Farrell from the Academy of Historical Arts
Bladesmith Marco Danelli