The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (27 January-4 February) has selected Nicolas Provost’s Moving Stories, Michael Palmaers’s Nuru and Marc Roels and Emma de Swaef’s Oh Willy for its 34th edition. The minority co-production The Monster of Nix by Dutch artist Rosto also received a spot in the fest’s programme. According to the fest, ‘a selection for Clermont-Ferrand is participating in the biggest adventure a film can experience.’ The selections at the prestigious French short fest once again put shorts from Flanders in the international limelight.
Provost is now something of an old hand at Clermont-Ferrand after picking up a Special Jury Award for his short Plot Point in 2008. Last year, the festival even presented an overview of Provost’s major works and invited two of his shorts, Stardust and Storyteller, for competition. Moving Stories, which is screening in the Lab Competition, takes the mysterious future of two young passengers as its point of departure. Provost works exclusively with stock footage for this short, editing them creatively to play with traditional film codes.
Michael Palmaers’s Nuru and Marc Roels and Emma de Swaef’s Oh Willy are competing in the fest’s international Competition. Nuru is an Eric Goossens production for Walking the Dog (A Monster in Paris, The Secret of Kells). In Nuru, which is inspired in part by painter René Magritte’s The Explanation and The Empire of Light, an opportunistic director of an abandoned zoo assigns a doctor to perform some medical experiments on a gorilla.
Marc Roels and Emma de Swaef’s Oh Willy is not only in International Competition. As a co-production with France the film has also been selected for the National Competition. In the short animation, fifty-something Willy gets lost in a world of cotton, wool and fabrics. The film was produced by Ben Tesseur for Beast Animation (A Town Called Panic).
Finally, Clermont-Ferrand’s national competition also features Rosto’s The Monster of Nix (trailer), a minority co-production with France and the Netherlands. The Monster of Nix is a dark fairy tale in which a troubled boy, Willy, fights the destructive force of Virgil, an all-devouring monster in the village of Nix.
Since its foundation 34 years ago, Clermont-Ferrand has become a household name for short cinema and work from Flanders held its own in previous years. In 2010 Philip James McGoldrick’s Siemiany was added to the line-up, while in 2008 both Nicolas Provost’s Plot Point and Marc Roels and Wim Reygaert’s Mumbler picked up Special Jury Awards.
All titles mentioned above were made with the support of The Flanders Audiovisual Fund.