In case you’ve lost track of which day of the week it is, here’s a reminder that it is indeed the weekend. If you’re a cinephile, self-isolation may, in theory, seem appealing as it holds the promise of more free time but, in practice, not as much. Being confined at home does not mean that you have a shortage of work to do, meals to cook, or for some, kids to look after; but we hope that you are able to enjoy some rest days and that you’re still making time for leisure and entertainment.
To keep you inspired, we’ve drawn a list of the top 8 startup movies and documentaries recommended by STATION F entrepreneurs and program managers.
Now, let the binge-watching begin!
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019, Dir. Chris Smith)
Benjamin Legros, co-founder of Unbottled
A documentary about the most spectacular scam ever: the Fyre Music Festival. We highly recommend this film for all entrepreneurs, especially for first-timers, for its strong cathartic element. FYRE stimulates and brings up visceral feelings of exactly what not to do in business and more generally why we should not believe all the hype that we see on social media.
Strokes of Genius (2018, Dir. Andrew Douglas)
David Brun, program manager of MooveLab Program
Recommended by David, the MooveLab program manager at STATION F who advises and supports startups in the Mobility space. David strongly believes that entrepreneurs have a lot to learn from high-level sportspeople in terms of leadership, stress management, and personal development. His best leadership lessons are inspired by Strokes of Genius, a documentary about Federer, Nadal, and their greatest match ever.
Startup.com (2001, Dir. Jehane Noujaim, Chris Hegedus)
Guillaume Seiler, co-founder of Settlesweet
This documentary closely follows the journey of two startup founders during the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s. It traces the birth and ultimately failure of a new media company during a time of crisis and uncertainty, a time that we would inevitably want to compare to our current coronavirus crisis.
Margin Call (2011, Dir. J.C. Chandor)
Corentin Couvertier, EDHEC Program staff
Another movie set in a time of crisis. The story takes place over a 24-hour period (yes, only 24 hours) at a large Wall Street investment bank during the initial stages of the financial crisis of 2007–08.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011, Dir. David Gelb)
Mathieu Brun Picard, co-founder of Settlesweet
This film is shown to every new product designer at AirBnb as part of their onboarding process. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about the world’s most renowned sushi chef who operates a three-star Michelin restaurant in Tokyo. The film is not only a portrait of a man and his long-practiced art, a celebration of excellence, but also a lesson in work ethic and perfectionism.
2018, Dir. Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude
This one is a personal favourite. General Magic has been dubbed “the greatest startup that you have never heard of” for having envisioned many technologies including the smartphone, emojis, text messages, and touch screens long before they arrived. It’s the singular company that did an IPO based on an idea, with no readily available product. The company ultimately failed but all the concepts that they developed have defined the way that we use technology today; and all the people that worked with them went on to build iconic companies like Apple, Twitter, eBay, and more.
Foundation: Startups, Women in Charge
2020, Dir. Kareen Perrin Debock
For those familiar with our work at STATION F – you saw this one coming, didn’t you? Foundation is the first-ever startup documentary series produced by STATION F and The Studio Next. The third season named Startups, Women in Charge is 53-minute single episode format that features an all-female cast and is produced by an all-female crew. This edition is an ode to women in entrepreneurship. It follows the journey of 4 female-founded startups and, while the focus is not to talk about what it is like to be a female founder, it inevitably sheds light on the challenges and the biases that they face.