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Laurent Crouzeix • Market coordinator, Euro Connection

“Europe is a great production centre for short films”

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- Laurent Crouzeix is the coordinator of the Euro Connection marketplace for short films

Laurent Crouzeix  • Market coordinator, Euro Connection

Euro Connection, organised alongside the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, is the marketplace for short-film co-production in Europe. In this interview, Laurent Crouzeix, coordinator of Euro Connection, discusses the criteria that short-film projects should meet in order to be selected, their future prospects and the European short-film market in general.

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Cineuropa: What criteria should a short-film project meet in order to be selected for Euro Connection?
Laurent Crouzeix: Every year we select about 16 projects from 16 countries around Europe. To be eligible, they need to be short films of under 40 minutes and of any genre – they can be fiction, animation or a creative documentary. Each one needs to have some financing associated with it; there is no minimum, but we at least need to have some sort of guarantee that the project’s potential has been validated by an entity external to the project.

What kinds of projects are you looking for?
They can be very different in scope because we have about 150 participants in the pitching sessions and the one-to-one meetings, and they might be searching for different things. We are not looking for specific types of projects; we prefer creative works with a degree of personality, and of course it makes more sense if the project has a real reason to be developed as a co-production.

What are the future prospects like for these short films?
One of the benefits of a co-production is that not only is it going to amass a larger budget – and this is very important when it comes to animation films, which can be very expensive – but it also opens up more opportunities in terms of the distribution and circulation of the movie, as two producers will join forces in marketing the film and assuring its visibility on the festival circuit.

What is the perception of short films in Europe?
Europe is a great production centre for short films. They are now seen as an incredible source of new talents for any national cinema industry – as some of them will later move on to longer feature films – but they are also seen as a proper art form that is sometimes more connected to society, to technologies, new narratives and trends.  

Is there a market for short films?
Yes. There is a tradition in Europe – at least with some broadcasters – to allow space for short films, mainly on national television channels but not exclusively on cable, and of course this plays an important part in sustaining the industry of shorts in addition to the possible funds that exist. At the short-film market in Clermont-Ferrand we conducted a study a couple of years ago, which showed that the number of deals that were made amounted to €800,000. This demonstrated that there is probably no big pot of funding for making shorts, but there is definitely a market for them.

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