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COURTS-MÉTRAGES France

Le film roumain The Christmas Gift gagne le Grand Prix à Clermont 2019

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- La 41e édition du Festival international du court-métrage de Clermont-Ferrand s'est achevée samedi, notamment sur des victoires roumaine et grecque

Le film roumain The Christmas Gift gagne le Grand Prix à Clermont 2019
The Christmas Gift de Bogdan Muresanu

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

With 160’000 admissions into the cinema screens between the 1 and 9 February, alongside 3500 professionals accredited for the Short Film Market,  Clermont-Ferrand keeps it’s crown as the most influential and important festival dedicated solely to short films in the world. Coming to an end last Saturday, the festival conferred a large number of awards to the hundreds of films screened during the eight day celebration of short film.

In the festival’s International Competition, the Grand Prix went to Romanian film The Christmas Gift. Bogdan Muresanu’s film is set on the 20 December 1989 shortly after Ceausescu's violent and destructive repressions in Timisoara. A father finds out his son has mailed a letter to Santa Claus wishing death upon Ceausescu in the belief that is his father’s fervent desire. The stage is set for the family frantically trying to recover the letter with the fear that, if it ends up in the wrong hands, there will be consequences to pay. It’s an intimate and technically flawless film that examines fear under a dictatorship as well as the delicacy of familial relationships.

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Speaking exclusively to Cineuropa after the win, Muresanusaid: “How does it feel like winning in Clermont? Not like anything else in the world, I’m sure. It feels absolutely otherworldly and it makes me very proud about the work we’ve done but also pretty lucky; after all the festival had more than 9000 submissions. It feels like God descended from the heavens and took a seat with me at the table. If it’s a dream, I don’t want to wake up.”

Other winners in the International Competition included Patision Avenue (Dir. Thanasis Neofotistos, Greece), which won the Canal+ prize alongside a European Film Academy nomination for Best Short Film in 2019. It continues a big run of success for the film that first premiered in Venice 2018.

The International Jury consisted of Steve Hawley (Director, UK), Nadav Lapid (Director, Israel), Caroline Monnet (Director, Canada), Susa Monteiro (Illustrator, Portugal) and Ga-Eun Yoon (Director, South Korea)

In the festival’s Lab Competition, the top prize was taken by Last Year when the Train Passed by (Dir. Pang-Chuan Huang, France). The meditative and experimental documentary originates from French film school Le Fresnoy and marks the second year in a row that Huang has won the main prize in the festival’s Lab competition.

The Lab Competition jury consisted of Claire Denis (Director, France), Jenn Nkiru (Filmmaker, UK) and Bruno Nuytten (Cinematographer, France)

The festival’s National Competition saw animation Ce magnifique gâteau ! (Dirs. Emma de Swaef & Marc James Roels, France/Belgium/The Netherlands) continue a somewhat dominant year. The 45 minute surreal puppet animation that takes place in colonial Africa first premiered in Cannes Critics Week and can add its Clermont award to prizes won in Annecy and Toronto.

The National Competition jury consisted of Jackie Berroyer (Actor, France), Hubert Charuel (Director, France), Céline Devaux (Filmmaker, France), Vincent Macaigne (Actor, France), Dominique Reymond (Actress, France)

The 42nd edition of Clermont-Ferrand will take place between 31 January and 8 February 2020.

The awards for the 41st Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival included:

International Competition

Grand Prix
The Christmas Gift (Dir. Bogdan Muresanu, Romania)

Special Jury Prize
Patision Avenue (Dir. Thanasis Neofotistos, Greece)

Audience Award
Skin (Dir. Guy Nattiv, US)

Prize for Best Animation
Tracing Addai (Dir. Esther Niemeier, Germany)

Student Prize
Binnu Ka Sapna (Dir. Kanu Behl, India)

Prix CANAL+
Patision Avenue (Dir. Thanasis Neofotistos, Greece)

Special Mentions
Desecho (Dir. Julio O. Ramos, Peru/US)
Brotherhood (Dir. Meryam Joobeur, Tunisia / Canada / Qatar)

European Film Awards Nominee
Patision Avenue (Dir. Thanasis Neofotistos, Greece)

Lab Competition

Grand Prix
Last Year when the Train Passed by (Dir. Pang-Chuan Huang, France)

Special Jury Prize
Swatted (Dir. Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, France)

Public Prize
The Passage (Dir. Kitao Sakurai, US)

Prix CANAL+
The Passage (Dir. Kitao Sakurai, US)

Prix Festivals Connexion – Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
The Sound of Falling (Dir. Chien Yu Lin, UK/Taiwan/Colombia)  

Prize for Best Documentary
Last Year when the Train Passed by (Dir. Pang-Chuan Huang, France)

Prix Allegorithmic for Visual Effects
Twenty One Points (Dir. Pete Circuitt, New Zealand)

Special Mentions
María de los Esteros (Dir. Eugenio Gómez Borrero , Colombia)
Fest (Dir. Nikita Diakur, Germany)

National Competition

Grand Prix
Ce magnifique gâteau ! (Dirs. Emma de Swaef & Marc James Roels, France/Belgium/The Netherlands)

Special Jury Prize
Jupiter! (Dir. Carlos Abascal Peiro, France)

Audience Award
Nefta Football Club (Dir. Yves Piat, France)

Prix Égalité et Diversité
Braquer Poitiers (Dir. Claude Schmitz, France)

Prize for Best Music
Guillaume Bachelé for La chanson (Dir. Tiphaine Raffier, France)

Prize for Best Animation (Francophone)
Cadavre exquis (Dirs. Stéphanie Lasaque & François Leroy, France)

Best Debut Prize
Beautiful Loser (Dir. Maxime Roy, France)

Special Mentions
Souvenir inoubliable d’un ami  (Dir. Wissam Charaf,  France / Lebanon)
Pauline asservie  (Dir. Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet, France)
Mort aux codes (Dir. Léopold Legrand, France)
Côté cœur (Dir. Héloïse Pelloquet, France)
La chanson (Dir. Tiphaine Raffier, France)

(Traduit de l'anglais)

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