Interview of Hugo Massa, communication manager at Tënk, first SVoD platform dedicated to independent documentaries.
1) What is Tënk and what does it mean ?
Tenk comes from the Wolof, the most spoken language in Senegal which means « tell me your thought ». We are from Ardeche, precisely from the village of Lussas that many people know for the « Etats généraux of the documentary film » that occur every year in August and with which we establish relationships throughout the world.
This is the case with Western Africa which explain the name we choose for our VOD platform dedicated to independent documentaries.
2) Why should people go on your VOD platform ?
To see different ways of living, seeing and talking about the world. The television documentaries fulfill a role of information but they do not always allow to catch the plurality of human experiences, views and opinions.
Our movies are non-mainstream documentaries as the one you can watch on TV, they are independant documentaries. They come up with original perspectives where subjectivity is often assumed.
3) Who is Tenk for and how much does it cost ?
Tënk is for everybody ! The independant documentary is often overlooked. It is not the viewing habits of everybody but it’s a human cinema which is for curious and sensible people.
You can watch movies on Tënk with an annual susbcription of 60€ or with a monthly subscription of 6€which is free of engagement. As it is still the launch of the website, the first month is kept 1€.
4) What advantages have you found while working with Kinow on the platform design ?
Tënk's project started one year ago, almost from nothing. We had with us the documentary knowledge, the network operation and programming ideas.
Kinow has given us the turnkey solution which was missing. The services provided (hosting, multi-support development and an e-commerce offer) were crucial and the most important thing has been the work flexibility offered by Kinow that has made possible for Tenk to become what it is today.
Our discussions have helped refine the SVOD proposal, to customize the platform the way we wanted it to be and to adjust a myriad of small details to be close to our vision and strategy.
5) Will you offer different things in the future ?
No, Tënk is and will stay the SVOD platform for independant documentaries. But Tënk is thinking to be film producer or co-producer in addition to be the distributor.
6) Are you thinking to develop new markets ?
Tënk is already accessible in the french speaking European countries (Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France). Access to movie is limited due to the geographical restriction of several movies rights.
Our ambition is to become a media as global as Internet can permit, step by step ! In the future we would like to extend our visibility to the other European country, Canada…
7) A favorite documentary ?
It’s a hard question ! I am fascinated by Nikolaus Geyrhalter cinema, an Austrian filmmaker. As an example, in « Notre pain quotidien » (2006), available on Tënk until 23 September 2016, he explores the agri-food industry from territory to territory, without any comment, from simple static shots. The symmetry and the repetition of shots suggest the inhuman conditions that they show, their uniformity.
It's a classic that we have programmed on our "Coup de Coeur (favorite) category and that everyone should have seen, in my opinion.