Pride by Pavel Vesnakov wins the Grand Prix in Clermont Ferrand

The 36th edition of the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival came to a close on Saturday, February 8 in the French region of Auvergne. The festival, born in 1979 with a collection of around 50 French shorts, has become an unmissable event for short professionals and connoisseurs, not just because of its rich selection of films, but also for its prestigious marketplace, which has the power to attract thousands of people from all around the world.

George Bollon, who has been part of the event’s organization since its first steps, said the festival had to choose from 8,200 films, submitted from all around the world (full interview will shortly be available on Cineuropa). A total of 75 films from 56 countries competed in the international section; 60 French productions (of which 9 co-productions) competed in the national section and 29 films from 15 countries took part in the Labo section. The United States was the centre of attention of a retrospective made up of 40 or so shorts from the year 2000 and up, while Chile, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Lithuania presented premieres of their latest shorts.

The jury for the international selection, made up of Jens Assur, Denis Côté, Ursula Meier, Narjiss Nejjat and Lucía Puenzo, gave out its Grand Prix to Pride by Pavel Vesnakov. Pride is the story of Manol and of his exasperated reaction to the news that his nephew is gay. Manol, irritated, violent and desperate, is the emblem of a kind of patriarchy, which sees him as a failure as the man who brought up his nephew. This tough and touching short, co-produced by Bulgaria and Germany, was given a special mention in Sarajevo in 2013 and has now been nominated at the European Film Academy Short Film 2014. 

French Juke-Box by Ilan Klipper won the special jury prize, the audience award was given to Brazilian Meu amigo Nietzsche by Fauston de Silva while Junk Head by Japanese Takahide Hori was announced as best animation short. 

La Lampe au beurre de yak by Hu Wei (coproduced by France and China) won the prize in the national section. Molii by Crine May, Mourad Boudaoud, Yassine Qnia and Hakim Zouhani was given the special jury prize, while the audience award went to Inupiluk by Sébastien Betbeder. To see a complete list of awards, click here.

With the participation of around 200 organizations (including film funds, national short agencies, sellers and distributors), 400 producers and 500 representatives from festivals across the world, the Marché of Clermont Ferrand is the key world event for the global short market. A studio, which emerged from the festival itself announced that in 2012, the event oversaw €800,000 worth in transactions – a negligible amount for if you compare it to the feature film industry, but still one that shows the short industry is alive and well. Worth noting is that once more this year, Euro Connection, the co-production forum, took place with 16 projects from 16 different European countries.

The next festival in Clermont Ferrand will take place on January 30 to February 7, 2015.  

10 February 2014, by Fran Royo