Clermont-Ferrand 2018: Day 2

Crowds at Clermont-Ferrand 2018
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Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival from February 1st to February 8th

My plan today seemed reasonable: I’d see three back to back programmes in the same cinema. I was up in plenty of time to get to the Salle Vian (the smaller of the two cinemas at the Maison de la Culture) by 11:00am for I5 (International Competition 5). All the films were quite strong, but the highlight for me was probably Miss Wamba, a stylish film from Spain about unexpected connection at a funeral parlour.

Miss Wamba (Still)
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I was able to exit and come back in for the next screening, L1 (Lab Competition 1), another strong lineup with the standout being Proch (Dust), an absolutely devastating Polish documentary about the journey of the body and personal belongings of a recently deceased person, apparently without family or friends.

My plan was to exit and re-enter for I6, but by the time I got out, the line for the cinema was overwhelming, spilling far out into the lobby. I decided I could see the whole programme another time, or just watch the films in the viewing library.

I got a good start on distributing the Shorts That Are Not Pants bookmarks I had made. I’m hoping to attract some filmmaker submissions from people visiting or showing films here.

Then I headed home for another 40 minute nap that turned into a two hour nap. Earlier on, I’d messaged with Gina Dellabarca, director of the Show Me Shorts Festival in New Zealand, and we arranged to meet up at 7:00pm for dinner. Gina was one of the first people I met here back in 2014 and it was really nice to reconnect. We ate delicious gallettes and washed them down with cider at Le 1513, a restaurant housed in a 500 year old building. Their web site looks nearly as old. ­čÖé

After that, we walked down toward the Maison de la Culture again so I could pop in to L’Univers, a brasserie that’s open late that seems to be the go-to spot for festival insiders. Danny Lennon of Prends ├ža court! had mentioned we should meet up for a drink there sometime today, so I thought I’d see if he was there. Coming up empty, I just walked home and was back by 9:30pm. Hope to connect with him and a few others tomorrow, and figure out the video library, too.

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