The biggest Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2018 is about to begin.

The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival is the world’s biggest international short film festival. Known in French as the Festival international du court métrage de Clermont-Ferrand. It has been held every year for the last 49 years.

It was founded back in 1979, as a Short Film Week that was arranged by the Clermont-Ferrand University Film Society. It is held each year in Clermonet-Ferrand in France. The festival has grown by leaps and bounds to become France’s second largest film festival after Cannes. This is an amazing achievement for a small group of people who originally set out to set up a short film appreciation week.

Last year, the festival attracted more than 160,000 film lovers and a further 3,500 industry professionals. As a result, it has become the world’s leading short film festival and therefore comparable to the Academy Awards for short films. It is quite amazing to consider that the festival only has a full-time staff of just 17 dedicated film lovers.

Their goal is to celebrate and try to raise awareness about both French and international short films.

Jocelyn and Dawn at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival after winning the Canal

A little more history of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival

After its inception back in 1979, the Clermont-Ferrand University Film Society’s Short Film Week was held again the following two years. In 1982, the organizers decided to turn it into a full-blown festival by bringing in competitions for various achievements.

The awards were limited to several categories relating to French-language productions. Far fewer international films were screened due to the limitations of such a small festival. The festival also included for the first time a segment honoring the best past and present short filmmakers from around the globe.

Gradually, this Short Film Week became such a hit that it began to attract more and more films. The competition and festival also gained more prominence within the international short film community. Thanks to the festival discovering a number of new and talented filmmakers, it grew into the world’s premier short film festival in only a few decades.

By 2016, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival screened more than 450 films. So large has it grown that it now has screenings in some 14 different venues. Thoughat times frustrating to audience members, the large queues outside each event are a testament to just how popular this festival has become.

Thankfully, the organizers have continued the Short Film Market which now means that buyers and distributors can access some 8.000 films from over 37 different countries via the Video Library. The organizers received over 7,000 short films each year, 1500 of which are French films.

Filmmakers who gained notoriety from the festival:

A number of great filmmakers have gained a helping hand from the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. These include:

  • Jean-Pierre Jeunet – Won Audience Award and Press Award in 1990 for Bullshit
  • Jan Kounen – Won prize for research for Vibroboy
  • CédricKlapisch – Won the Special Jury Prize in 1987 for In Transit and the Special Jury Prize in 1990 for I am Moving
  • Erick Zonca, Won the Grand Prix in 1995 for Eternal

Awards

Like most other major film festivals, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival features both domestic and separate international competitions. To qualify for the domestic category, a film must have been a French production. All other entries that are lucky enough to be selected are placed into the international competition.

There is an additional Lab Competition, which is exclusively designed to honor experimental films of all types. These can be either French or international.

Within each of the main competitions, there is an ever-expanding list of awards that include everything from The Best Picture award to The Best Animation award. Each competition also includes a Grand Prix, a Prix Spécial du Jury, a Prix du Public and a Prix Canal+ set of awards. There is also the Student Award, which aims to honor the festival’s roots as a university event.

Prizes

The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival gives out a number of different cash prizes depending on the award. For the much converted Grand Prix, the winning receives €5,000 and a trophy.

For the Special Jury Prize, the winning director gets €4,000 and a trophy. For the Audience Prize, the winning director receives €4,000 and a trophy.

How to enter your film

To enter your film you must visit the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival’s festivals website: www.clermont-filmfest.com

Filmmakers will need to be aware that there are a number of rules and regulations concerning the entry of films. These can be found on the site’s Film Submission page.

Here is a short list of the main entry rules:

  • Films must be 40 minutes or less
  • Any type of film genre may be submitted. This includes fiction, animation, documentary, and experimental films
  • Films must be entered via the website

All entries must include:

  • 1 still frame from the film in either color or black and white
  • 1 photo of the director(s)
  • 1 transcript of the dialogue in the original language plus a French or an English translation depending on the original language
  • 1 video file of the film

All films submitted will be considered for entry into the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Those that do not gain entry into the festival will be listed in the Short Film Market catalog to help distributors gain access to them.

For a complete guide to all the 2017 entries, click this link.

For a full program guide to the 2018 event, including venue information, please visit their site by clicking this link.

The 39th addition of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival will be held 3rd February until 11th February 2018.

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