The Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Market is a central part of the events calendar for short filmmakers and those in the wider industry. But the organisation recently announced that a substantial cut in their grant from the regional council could put the entire event in danger.
We talked to Julie Rousson, Programmer, Industry Events Coordinator, from Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival about why the festival is important to everyone from upcoming and established filmmakers to the industry as a whole, and what actions are available to help prevent its closure.
What about your role and organisation do you find most inspiring?
Being able to show, help and promote the short film form, which is the most pure form of cinematic expression and experimentation.
If you could only watch one film on a loop for the rest of time, what would it be?
Tell us about your organisation – what do you do, who do you serve, what are your aims and objectives? What makes your organisation important within the wider short film industry?
Clermont-Ferrand is one of the biggest event dedicated to short film, with a wide audience (160,000 entries in 2023) and also for the industry with the Short Film Market. We show and support short film of all kind, from experimental work to very accessible comedy. Clermont aims to give the stage to filmmakers from all around the world and background.
Tell us about the recent funding news, and what this could mean to the festival and short film market going forward.
We lost more than half of our funding for the past edition, from our biggest public support, the Regional council, which means we can not make any economical measures for an event that already happened. We now have a deficit of at least 110,000€ to recover with the main part of our budget already spent. To this deficit, we can add another big one for the year 2022. If we can not do anything to prevent a new important deficit in 2023, the future of the festival, the Market and all our actions is under threat.
What would be the impact to the local community, and the short film world if the festival were to close its doors?
The festival and market has an economic impact of 11 million euros for the local community each year. It would mean a big loss for hotels, restaurants and the tourism economy in general. It would also mean for our massive audience the end of one of the biggest cultural events in Clermont.
On a national and international level, Clermont and short film in general is a key actor for the emerging talents and the cinema industry. This is where a lot directors, producers, distributors, programmers start their careers. This is where hundreds of peculiar voices, from all around the world, can express their point of view on the world we live in. In terms of industry and artistic level, short films represent a lot, and Clermont with it.
What actions can our readers take to help support the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival at this time?
We need as much support as possible, especially from outside of France, to make our Regional council understand fully the importance of the festival and its market outside of our local territory. We wrote an open letter to its president, Laurent Wauquiez, that you can read, sign and share around you. The more, the merrier! Next steps are in the making.
Tell us about some of the filmmakers you have showcased, what have they gone on to do?
It is really heartwarming to see so many filmmakers who had a connection with Clermont showing their support to us since we learned about our cut in funding. Those creators remember where they come from and the importance of the short film format. Denis Villeneuve, Hiam Abbass, Julie Bertuccelli, Davy Chou and Laurent Cantet signed our open letter.
We also received incredible support in Cannes from the ACID and Critics week organisers and of course from the filmmakers in the short film competition and Florá Anna Buda who won the short film Palme d’or. We do all this for filmmakers, for their work to be seen, to be produced. Receiving their support is so important for us.
Why are short films important?
Short films are important because they talk about the world we live in. Due to their shorter period of production, they are the mirror of our societies, the megaphones of so many communities and subjects that struggle to be heard on the feature film circuit sometimes. It is also an amazing stage for experimentation, far from economical pressures that allow filmmakers to try new narrative or non narrative techniques. Short film is the beginning for a lot of people, but it’s not only that: it’s where a filmmaker can come back to express themselves freely.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Thank you T-Port 🙂
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