I got back from CF last night and relaxed in front of all the favourite missed episodes of easy watching TV. The IT Crowd was a new discovery and great fun (and apparently just as popular for the pre-teens of the house as the adults). Desperate Housewives, Shameless, Invasion... It was really quite hard though getting up at 06:30am this morning, but now back at my familiar desk and laptop screen - all seems well with Red Organ Serpent Sound pop promo busy being built in post with Barney Clay & Grant over at Condor and Fosters brewing away thanks to Paul Middleditch with castings and location searches out in Sydney Australia, I sit back and reflect on the week in France....
I went to Clermont Ferrand short film festival with Daniel Mulloy who had two of his films in the International competition there, SISTER which I produced and ANTONIO'S BREAKFAST which Amber produced. I met Daniel at Heathrow, catching him on his way back from Sundance, where AB had also been shortlisted for an award, and we made our way over there together.
It was a bit like being back at college, first day in and trying to make sense of which clubs to sign up to, which lectures to get to and trying to work out how to get it together to stop showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time and missing all the important events!!! It didn't take long to work out, but I couldn't help feeling that had I done a bit more research before heading out there, I might have got there a bit sooner. I kept bumping into Nathalie Algazi, a friendly French producer interested in UK co-productions and her boy-friend Fabien (sound mixer), who were very organised and kept helping me by pointing me in the right direction. Before you knew it, it felt like 'home'. Once the pieces fell together, it was easy to enjoy. It was great getting a chance to see all these films and meet the filmmakers, sometimes listen to them talking about their films. Meet the festival people and all the TV Buyers etc... Kevin Franklin from the British Council, Laurent Crouzeix, one of the CF festival organisers and Ingo Grell from the Hamburg Film Festival were great to meet and Rajinder Kochar from Future Shorts was inexhaustably fantastic.
Most importantly I met some really lovely and talented people. On the first night there, Daniel and I went to the British Council's party where, amongst others, I met filmmakers Katerina Athanasopoulou and Dushka Zagorac, both with films in competition at the festival. Turns out not only is Katerina a lovely and very talented artist, but she also lives in North London! I was sad not to see more of Kartik Singh (Director/Translator) and Paul Barbeau, Quebecois producer from Montreal of short film LE ROUGE AU SOL.
There was a great buzz about Daniel and his two films and although he did not win the top prize, ANTONIO'S BREAKFAST did win a 'Youth Jury Mention' which is great. It is also still on the shortlist for the BAFTA award (we will hear what happens with that next week).
It was also fun being interviewed by Annique for LIBERATION and to see the article come out in the paper on Saturday! Not sure what I make of her digest of my commentary on the state of short films in Britain today, however...
I met Jacques Thelemaque who made TRANSACTION (winner of Labo competition) and his producer Toni-Ann, Gustavo Taretto who made MEDIANERAS (winner of grand prix), Andy Gordon producer of HIBERNATION (winner of Audience prize), Andy and Donna McCrum producers of THE LAST CHIP (winner of Special Jury Prize), Hisham Zaman who made BAWKE (winner of Youth Jury Prize), Wael Noureddine who made CE SERA BEAU (winner of Labo special jury mention) and many many more interesting people.