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Christophe Leparc • Director, Cinemed

"El Mediterráneo se ha convertido en un territorio importante para el cine de autor"


- Hemos entrevistado a Christophe Leparc, director del Festival de Cine Mediterráneo de Montpellier, cuya 40a edición tiene lugar del 19 al 27 de octubre

Christophe Leparc • Director, Cinemed

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Director of Cinemed, Montpeillier Mediterranean Film Festival for the fourth year running, Christophe Leparc (also General Secretary of the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes since 2008) talks about the 40th edition of the festival (read the article here), which kicks off today.

Cineuropa: How are you celebrating the40th edition of the Mediterranean Film Festival?
Christophe Leparc: We’re taking a look back in time at the festival’s history, and someone who really represents the event, Robert Guediguian, who is chairing the Antigone d'Or competition jury this year. Robert was here when the festival first began with his first film Dernier été, and there is a rather interesting parallel between his career and the festival’s growth. At the time, he was a small filmmaker from Marseille, and he slowly became a character who created a real filmography and has gained wide recognition, joining the jury at the most recent edition of Cannes Film Festival. Robert has always remained faithful to Cinemed: we’ve often screened his films and we’ve even welcomed him back for a funding project. The festival grew with him, and so we wanted to welcome him back, but this time to his "family," his tribe, the people who have been working with him since the very beginning. We’ve dedicated a retrospective, meetings and an exhibition to him and we’re also returning to the festival’s humble beginnings for its 40th anniversary with a retrospective on Italian comedy. Cinemed has been successful due to it its focus on Mediterranean contemporary films, which are very dynamic. When the festival first started out, the films presented here were never distributed and were only screened at festivals. Little by little, distributors became interested in films from the Mediterranean, because there was financial potential there in terms of theatrical releases. We have always been at the forefront of the movement and when you see that there were about twenty films from the Mediterranean screened at Cannes this year, it’s evident that the Mediterranean has become an important place for auteur cinema. We have always been involved in the search, in all its forms, be them fiction feature films or documentary short films. 

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Why did you choose to open the festival with a TV series?
We didn’t want to miss out on this new format, which allows filmmakers to go in new directions in terms of stories and creative possibilities. We wanted to make a mark with two episodes from the Italian series Il miracolo (which will be broadcast on Arte in early 2019). We obviously don’t intend on becoming a TV series festival, but it is nevertheless important to demonstrate diverse creations and show that TV series are fertile ground for experimentation and are relevant for filmmakers, who then often return to making films.

Mediterranean production is very abundant. What is the editorial line of your fiction feature competition?
We have a lot to choose from, so we just go with what we like. We're more into discovery and films by young directors, but not always. It's frustrating because we receive a lot of proposals, but we have to be very selective to make sure we maintain a high level in terms of festival quality.

Tell us about the professional Cinemed Meetings component and the Development Fund.
We’re continuing to focus on young film as we did in 2016 with Tunisia and last year with Algeria. This year, it's Lebanon. We’ve noticed that there are many young talented directors out there, many of whom want to bring their first projects to life. In terms of the development fund, we’re tending towards projects that we like the most and haven’t adopting a duty to represent the whole of the Mediterranean. So, we can afford to have several projects from one country, and it’s true that this year projects from the South of the Mediterranean and the Middle East seem to dominate. It must be said that northern Europe’s interest in these projects, the co-production systems and the agreements put in place by the CNC tend to promote the creation of films from this area of the world. Is it just a flash in the pan? I hope not.

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(Traducción del francés)

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