Documentary, Image Education workshops, International… look back on three strong trends from the 2023 Short Film Festival

Short film is a format that has always claimed maximum openness – and freedom! It was logical that it should not be different for the Short Film Festival. In addition to the sumptuous selections of fiction films, this one also proposes to revisit more confidential genres, such as documentary, denser transmission formats, such as the precious workshops of education to the image, or new territories, with an opening to 66 countries, a record. Overview.

The documentary in the spotlight

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The Short Film Festival has traditionally placed a significant role in documentary programming. This is particularly important in this edition, as this exciting and plural genre is being honoured by the Ministry of Culture and the National Film Centre on the occasion of a Year of Documentary. «Lumière sur le documentaire», the selection created by the Scam as part of a carte blanche, brings together thirteen documentary films, or «about 10% of the selection», says Zoé Peyssonnerie, responsible for distribution and audience development.

Among the nuggets proposed by the Scam, a key actor in the writing of reality, we can mention Maalbeek (2020) by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, winner of the César for best short documentary in 2022, and La Chambre by Camille Vidal-Nacquet (2021), awarded the Star of the Scam in 2022. Works with particularly strong subjects. «Rescued but amnesic from the attack at Maalbeek station on 22 March 2016 in Brussels, Sabine is looking for the missing image of a high-profile event of which she has no memory», says Maalbeek’s presentation text. In the mortuary chamber of the Bichat Hospital, employees welcome patients who have just died. In camera, they take care of the deceased before presenting them to the families. Through the care they provide on a daily basis, they are the guarantors of the well-being of those who are no longer there,” he writes of the House.

Image education, priority for the youngest

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In addition to actions aimed at audiences far from culture, the importance of which Roland Nguyen stressed (see our interview), more than a hundred workshops are offered each year by the Short Film Festival throughout the country, including several workshops on image education.

Among the most emblematic, we can mention the cinematographic editing workshop initiated by the departmental museum of the Hautes-Alpes that will take place on March 19 and will allow children to be introduced to the assembly through the table mash'up, an intuitive and interactive editing table that makes it possible to make an immediate montage using video clips, sound effects, music or voice-over; but also the workshop «Stop Motion: anime ton doudou» proposed to the little ones accompanied by their parents by the Halle des Épinettes with the association «Ateliers Dam» in Issy-les-Moulineaux which will take place on 18 March and will make it possible to animate an object thanks to the technique of shooting image by image; finally, the workshop «Aux origines du cartoon» proposed and animated on March 15 by Chloé Blondeau of the association «Le petit bain» at the Alcazar Library in Marseille, which will offer a practice of animation on film and a discovery of the mythical work of Canadian animation filmmaker Norman McLaren.

360° international opening

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While each year the Festival of Short Films has official ambassador cities throughout France, cities that, thanks to the French cultural network abroad – Alliances françaises et Instituts français –, promote the event all over the world, and they certainly do so informally. The Short Film Festival is thus present this year in 66 countries without one geographical area being more prominent than another in terms of volume of organizers and sessions ” said Claire Vorger, the event’s press secretary.

The fine participations of Morocco, Tunisia, the United States, South Korea and Spain deserve to be highlighted. Among the French Alliances or the particularly dynamic French Institutes are the French Alliance of Gafsa in Tunisia, Kandy in Sri Lanka and the French Institute of Zagreb in Croatia. In addition, TV5MONDE has been a partner of the Short Film Festival for the past three years and celebrates the short format with the distribution of many films to all audiences. Finally, another sign of an international event, the presence this year of Belgian director Valéry Carnoy among the talents, which, in the future, should be joined by other foreign talents.