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The 42nd edition of Clermont-Ferrand gets under way


- The short-film festival continues to be the biggest event of its kind in the world

The 42nd edition of Clermont-Ferrand gets under way
The Distance Between Us and the Sky by Vasilis Kekatos

Generally considered to be world’s biggest festival dedicated solely to short films, the 42nd edition of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival begins today with its usual packed programme of films for an enthusiastic audience and a fulsome offering of industry events for the 3,600 professionals attending the festival and accompanying short film market.

Over the three competitions (International, National and the Labo competiton, dedicated to more experimental fare) there will be over 160 shorts. These will include some that have already great visibility with, amongst others, last year’s Palme D’or winner The Distance Between Us and The Sky (Vasilis Kekatos, Greece/France) which will screen in the international competition and recent Sundance Grand Prix winner What If The Goats Die (Sofia Alaoui, France/Morocco) which will be shown as part of the national competition. Alongside these there will also be a chance to discover newer works, with the festival taking a broad approach towards programming with diverse subjects represented across an equally diverse range of filmmaking approaches in fiction, animation and documentary.

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This year’s Country in Focus will be Poland - an event co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and co-organized by the Krakow Film Foundation - with a showcase of 18 films over four programmes. With a tradition of short films in the country going back many decades, this selection will examine more contemporary works from and will include a screening of Dawid Bodzak’s Tremors, a winner of Clermont-Ferrand’s Grand Prix in 2018. The focus will also be accompanied by a myriad of side events including an exhibition of classic Polish Posters and industry talks and discussions about the current state of filmmaking in the country.

Other retrospectives will include a tribute to the work of Rosto, the Dutch filmmaker, animator and artist who passed away in March 2019. Already with a long lasting legacy in Clermont – after designing the festival poster and serving on the Labo jury in 2007 – the retrospective will consist of screenings of his uniquely twisted animations as well as an exhibition. There will also be screenings looking at the theme of “Rural Life”, 8 short films directed by the Belgian filmmaker Olivier Smolders and the infamous Cinépiscine screening of short films in a swimming pool.

The Short Film Market will welcome 600 producers, 200 buyers, 100 distributors and 500 to the high school gym which, for five days becomes a nexus for the short film world. With more than 100 exhibitors from more than 80 countries, the market looks particularly buoyant this year and welcomes the likes of Tunisia, Morocco and Corsica who will be exhibiting for the first time.

Amongst this year’s industry events will be a presentation by Kickstarter who will, from March, promote short films through its program "Long story short". Considering that the platform is often a popular choice for funding short projects, the promise of promoting short film will undoubtedly garner a lot of interest. MEDIA will also be on hand to discuss Low Capacity Production Countries within the EU and will highlight major issues for these countries surrounding talent development, coproduction and the distribution of short films.

As always Clermont will play host to Euro Connection, the two-day pitching and networking event which remains one of the most important co-production events of its kind in the world. After the presentation of the 14 European projects in Euro Connections, the event will present the inaugural “La Petite Fabrique”, a showcase of 5 carefully selected international projects presented in partnership with Institut Français to generate further coproduction opportunities at the international level.

The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival runs from 31 January until 8 February 2020.

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