Directed by : Fernand Melgar

Genre : documentary series

Duration : 10×9′

Year : 2002

Original version : French

Subtitles : German, English, Spanish

Collection first day

“First day” is a collection of ten short documentaries initiated and directed by Fernand Melgar. The idea is simple: in the course of our lives, we all have moments that count and that we remember fondly. A birth, a first day at school or an encounter: these moments reveal our feelings and set our lives on a new course. Each film accompanies, for the duration of a day, an individual who is about to experience a key moment in his or her life.

List of episodes

The arrival

Young Bruno and his parents Pascal and Fabienne go to Geneva airport to welcome little Naïka from Haiti with their friends and family.

The fight

Randy, an apprentice boxer in the “paperweight” category, takes on his first opponent in Yverdon under the expert guidance of his old coach.

The apprenticeship

Béatrice, 16, is anxious to start her vocational training.

The visit

Following an illness, Denis has recently become visually impaired. For his first outing with his new guide dog Graffiti, he decides to pay a surprise visit to his parents in Saxon.

The sale

Denise tragically lost her husband ten years ago and has never been able to grieve. To pay off her debts, the Debt Collection Office organizes a public viewing of her villa in Geneva, with a view to auctioning it off.

The internship

Gaël is looking for an apprenticeship for her future profession. She does an internship as an ambulance driver, a profession normally reserved for men.

The inalpe

Young cowherd Fabrice climbs the mountain pasture for the first time with a herd of Hérens cows for the traditional battle of the queens.

Back to school

It’s back-to-school day for teacher Lucienne. She teaches French and local customs to young foreigners who have just arrived in Switzerland.


Jean, a former Boat People refugee and seminarian, is ordained a priest by the Bishop of Lausanne in the presence of his large Vietnamese community and a few old parishioners in Yverdon.

The wait

Pascal, a transvestite and father-to-be, urgently joins his wife Carole at the clinic in the imminent expectation of a happy event.


Directed and edited by : Fernand Melgar

Assistante : Karine Grasset

Images : Camille Cottagnoud

Sound : Blaise Gabioud, Gilles Abravanel, Julien Sulser, Fernand Melgar

Music : Julien Sulser

Animation : Claude Barras, Cédric Louis

Sound mix : Fred Kohler, Denis Séchaud, Luc Yersin

Color grading : Herbert Posch

Line producer : Florence Adam

Production : Climage, Fernand Melgar | Les Productions JHM, Jean-Marc Henchoz

Coproduction : RTS, Irène Challand,  Tiziana Mona,  Raymond Vouillamoz | ARTE G.E.I.E, Peter Gottschalk Jacques Laurent

Financial support : Fondation vaudoise pour le cinéma, Fonds REGIO Films

© 2002 CLIMAGE – Les Productions JMH

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