Clermont-Ferrand gets underway

The opening night of Clermont-Ferrand saw the theme from Star Wars play as the president of Sauve qui peut le court métrage (the organisation behind the festival), Jean-Claude Saurel come on stage holding an astronaut helmet. While this light-hearted gesture – done to celebrate the festival's special programme entitled ‘Star Systems’ – showed that Clermont-Ferrand would do it’s best to entertain it’s large and enthusiastic audiences, there was also an undeniable sense of the political in the air. With the ceremony being held two days before the first anniversary of the tragic murders at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and only a few months since the horrifying Paris Shootings, Saurel insisted on the importance of being open to the international and to diversity. He also explained that the French state of emergency had forced the festival to take in important last minute extra costs due to extra security.

The film’s screened on the opening night were en eclectic selection of films screening across the festival. These ranged from current Oscar nominee Ave Maria to the viral sensation Kung Fury, which will screen as part of the festival’s focus on Sweden.

The festival is now in full swing with competition screenings underway as well as special programmes. The Short Film Market will open on Monday. In 2015 the Short Film Market welcomed 3’500 delegates amongst them festivals, distributors and film agenices.

06 February 2016, by Laurence Boyce