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The film


Wavemakers - Trailer   Distribution: National Film Board of Canada.

pursues the legacy of an electronic musical instrument as fragile as it is magical: the Ondes Martenot. The Martenot so sensitive, so expressive, that nearly a century after its invention, musicians, artisans and scientists are still trying to unravel its secrets. Among them are the inventor’s son, Jean-Louis Martenot, Suzanne Binet-Audet, the “Jimi Hendrix of the Martenot”, and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead.

Integrating vérité, never-before-seen archival material and an entrancing soundtrack, this feature documentary explores the origins and workings of the Martenot, and draws us inexorably into its spell. A modern-day story set against a historical background, Wavemakers is a journey into the very heart of the mystery of music.

With Wavemakers, Caroline Martel returns with the signature approach that turned her first feature doc about telephone operators into a “non-stop visual and intellectual stimulation… an enormously creative documentary.” (Variety). She pursues her fascination with culture and technology, using her distinctive blend of humanism, lyricism and experimentation. 

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GOLDEN ATHENA AWARD – Music&Film – Athens International Film Festival  2013
Voted Best Profile of an Historical or Contemporary Figure (ex-equo)
Fandor’s 2013 Absolute Best (and Worst)
Best Documentary JUTRA AWARDS Nomination 2014


“Amazing! A film as beautiful and tender as the instrument itself.”
– Jonny Greenwood, composer, multi-instrumentist (Radiohead)

Martel’s is an intriguing chronicle of the Martenot with engaging instruction.

Wavemakers is a worthy companion to 1994’s Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey.
Film Comment 

“A monument that will leave a mark in the history of electronic lutherie,
and even find a place in music history
– Jean-Marc Fontaine, sound recordings preservationist
Université Pierre et Marie Curie / Sorbonne (Paris)

“Playful, poetic, and profound. Inventively blending a wide range of documentary forms…”
– David Schwartz, chief curator, Museum of the Moving Image (NY)

A work whose clarity belies uncommon complexity.”
– Bruno Dequen (24 images)




Current Details in News

Bloor Cinema (TO premiere) presented by Hot Docs! + Royal Conservatory of Music – April 2014

Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG)  – Mar 2014

Québec Cinema Week in Milan – Mar 2014

Francophone Film Festival in Greece – Mar 2014

National Galery (Washington) – Mar 2014

Exploratorium (San Francisco) – Feb 2014

First Look Film Festival  – New York Premiere – Jan 2014

Special Screening – Université Pierre et Marie Curie / Sorbonne (Paris) – Dec 2013

Forum des Images  – Paris Premiere – Nov 2013

Leeds International Film Festival – British Premiere – Nov 2013

Cork Film Festival (Ireland) – Nov 2013

Cinédit (Rivière-du-loup) – Oct 2013

Cornell Cinema, Cornell University (Ithaca) – Oct 2013

Athens International Film Festival – Sept 2013

Sporobole (Sherbrooke) – Sept 2013

Festival international du film de La Rochelle – French Premiere – July 2013

Music & Labour Conference – AISPM-Canada – May 2013

Paraloeil (Rimouski) – April 2013

Special screenings – Tish Cinema School/New York University + Dartmouth University – April-May 2013

One month theatrical release – Cinéma Excentris (Montréal) – 15 March -11 April 2013

International Film Festival in Rotterdam (IFFR) – International Premiere – Feb 2013

Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) – World Premiere – Nov 2012