The 39th annual Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, often said to
be the biggest short film festival in the world, opened on February 3rd. We
were in attendance promoting Japanese short film content at the short film
market, running from February 6nd to 9th.
The city of Clermont-Ferrand has a population of about 20,000, but it grows to about 1.5 times this size during the week of the festival; short film industry people, including directors, actors, script writers, festival directors and programmers, buyers and distributors and fans of short films from all over the world gather here.
It’s the “Cannes” of short film. We were fairly surprised to see so many young and elderly people attending morning screenings, even on a Monday!
We have seen school buses coming in from neighboring cities and it is clear how the festival collaborates with local schools in order to have their students participate in the proceedings.
No wonder there are so many brilliant short films coming out of this country – it’s included in their school education!
The first thing we (industry professionals) do is to register ourselves at the registration desk of the festival. It is located inside the building that houses the main festival screening theater which holds almost 2,000 people! Here the organizers hand over passes that allows us to enter all film screenings as well the short film market. The “market” is where short film vendors and festival organizers set-up booths to sell or promote their short films.
In the case of festival organizers and film commissions, it is also a place to promote their country.
Our primary goal was to promote and sell Japanese short film content to the rest of the world.
We were located at the Japan booth along with the “Sapporo Short Fest” organizers until the 9th (Thursday). Many buyers and film festival professionals have visited our stand, and we promoted our “Japan Shorts” program that was screened on the 7th, Tuesday.
Finally, we would like to mention that a Japanese short film, “And So We Put The Goldfish In The Pool” was nominated in the international competition. Director Makoto Nagahisa came to Clermont-Ferrand from Japan to attend the screenings. We had the honor to have him stop by our Japan booth in the market.
The Award Ceremony took place on Saturday, the 11th and here are the results for the top awards.
“DeKalb Elementary” / Director;Reed Van Dyk / USA
Special Jury Prize
“Home” / Director: Daniel Mulloy/ Kosovo, UK
“Como Yo Te Amo” / Director: Fernando García-Ruiz Rubio / Spain