Editorial – National Competition
The Age of Potential
To borrow the apt title of a film by Pascale Ferran, the young girls and boys – and sometimes girl-boys – we meet here are often at the age of potential. Mixed emotions are a strength, the first flutterings of the heart open up infinite possibilities, and when only pain and suffering can be expected, patience can unlock poetry. Children are also upset with a world that is becoming narrower, and their nighttime (and daytime) fears are a cry for help. Hearing them play at love games with adult words is both disturbing and thought-provoking.
The Age of Potential. What better definition for short films?
There is more uneasiness in our confrontation with our other self – be it android or alien – the uneasiness of a hostage when their captor is lost, the uneasiness of a receding world, of a half-open door, of the religious straightjacket brushing against live flesh…
Beneath these turbulent zones flourish the indelible layers that man’s passage has left. Traces rooted in our memory, feverish, indestructible marks. Physical traces: places that only words manage to reveal, a blood-red earth, like a wound caused by our unconscious, where the aborted portrait of an encounter is built upon that very absence.
Art allows us to save these signs, to animate and duplicate them, from cavemen all the way to sleepwalking scribes at the ends of the earth. And when art is no longer enough, we still have rituals – real or fantasized – as a cathartic experience.
Migratory, mercantile movements map the globe, witnessing control, or at the other extreme, bursts of solidarity. Short films once again invite us to listen to those who set off, either voluntarily or under duress, for a new homeland. Determined, and not defined solely by their status as exiles, they are an example of combativeness and perseverance, sharing their daily lives with us, which might include their favorite piece or a slightly exotic sport.
Finally, 2020 marks the return of filmmakers who are well known to audiences at Clermont-Ferrand. They have won awards here and some were discovered here for the first time; they continue exploring artistic alternatives thanks to the vast freedom that the short form permits: Sébastien Betbeder, Julien Silloray, William Laboury, Matthieu Vigneau. Claude Le Pape, a script-writer who has plied her trade on big and small screens alike (Petit paysan [Bloody Milk], Les combattants [Love At First Fight], the series Hippocrate, etc.) is back with her favorite actor, Jackie Berroyer. Actor and filmmaker Lawrence Valin again explores the Tamil diaspora in his hometown of Paris in a powerful, dark film. And in fact, these two films, respectively La maison (pas très loin du Donegal) [The House (Not Far From Donegal)] and The Loyal Man, will represent France in the international competition.
2,008 submitted films
54 selected films
43 live actions
19 first films, including 6 school films
13 international coproductions
7 comedies, including 2 musicals
2 self-produced films