Summer in French Shorts: Week 5

Summer in French Shorts: Week 5

Six short films are accessible to movie industry professionals who wish to discover the titles short-listed for the 2020 UniFrance Short Film Awards, an exceptional selection of 39 outstanding films.

Friend of a Friend is the title of the animated film directed by Zachary Zezima. It tells the story of Beau's birthday party, which ends very badly when a friend of a friend tries to rape him. Beau finds himself in an awkward situation, with his girlfriend letting him in on a secret while he must hide his own his feelings of friendship toward his attacker Marlo, whom he holds hostage in his cellar. This film highlights a side of contemporary society that remains resistant to accepting the full spectrum of sexual identity.

The comedy To the Bone by Sébastien Betbeder is a riotous tale that plunges us into the world of the absurd. In Amiens, Thomas meets a curious character in an interview for a story he is writing for the newspaper he works for. His interviewee becomes aspiritual guide who will try to help him get through a very difficult time.

In October 2016, the Calais Jungle was dismantled. Box by Matthew Barton was shot in this refugee camp that has stirred a great deal of public debate. Some of the men confined in the camp let out their anger through boxing. "Box" is seen as a sport as well as the closed spaces in which these refugees spent their daily lives. An epic documentary that invites reflection.

Eleven-year-old Adil is getting ready to leave Morocco. But this time, his departure will be very different from in the past, as his mother is leaving his care to her ex-husband. In The Departure, director Saïd Hamich intertwines personal stories with the wider historical context. Images of the 2004 Olympic Games show the runner Hicham El Guerrouj, Adil's idol, winning the Gold Medal. But is leaving one's country the best way to succeed in life?

Genius Loci by Adrien Merigeau is an animated film in which we follow Reine in her nocturnal metamorphosis. She goes out from her apartment to wander the streets of her city, letting herself be guided by her tempestuous emotions.

An audacious vision of a dreamlike world, Tar by Vincent Fontano gives us the feeling that we are watching a stage play in which two security guards dream of a life beyond the reality of their nightly routine at a parking lot. Their dreams interweave with their real lives in a tale that leads us into the world of fantasy.

Friend of a Friend (2019)

Animation – Psychological drama – 14 mins
Language: English – French
Themes: Homosexuality – Bullying

Producer: Sacrebleu Productions (Ron Dyens)

Beau celebrates his thirtieth birthday at home with his fiancée and their friends. Marlo, a friend of a friend, stays over after the party. But he sexually assaults Beau, who manages to turn the situation around by holding his attacker in his cellar and torturing him. Before the weekend's out, Beau starts to forge a friendship with Marlo, without really managing to banish his own feelings of desire for him.

Zachary Zezima

To the Bone (2019)

Fiction – Comedy – 30 mins
Language: French with English subtitles
Theme: Friendship

Producer: Envie de Tempête Productions (Frédéric Dubreuil)
Sales agent: L'Agence du court métrage (Florence Keller)

Thomas follows Rebecca to Amiens, but shortly after his arrival she leaves him. Alone in the city of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, with a job as a journalist at the Courrier Picard that bores him to death, Thomas does what he can to get over his depression.

Sébastien Betbeder

Box (2019)

Creative documentary – 9 mins
Language: English – Pachto – French and English subtitles
Themes: Immigration – Sport – Environment

Producer: Société Acéphale (Lorenzo BianchiAnthony Lapia)

Adversity inspires escape. Violence is dissipated in sweat. Bodies are put through the test in a boxing club in the Jungle refugee camp in Calais before the camp's imminent demolition.

Matthew Barton

The Departure (2020)

Fiction – Comedy – 25 mins
Language: Arabic with French and English subtitles
Themes: Emigration – Childhood – Family

Producer: Barney Production (Sophie Penson) – Mont Fleuri Production – Morocco
Sales agent: Shortcuts (Élise Notseck)

Morocco, 2004. The life of eleven-year-old Adil is turned upside down by a visit from his father and grandfather who have come over from France for a few days.

Saïd Hamich

Genius Loci (2019)

Animation – Fable – Myth – 16 mins
Language: French with English subtitles
Themes: Family – Dreams – Conflict – Art

Producer: Kazak Productions (Amaury Ovise) – Folimage (Reginald de Guillebon)
Sales agent: L'Agence du court métrage (Florence Keller)

One night Reine, a young and solitary person, sees in the urban chaos a lively and vibrant movement, a kind of guide.

Adrien Merigeau

Tar (2019) – First film

Fiction – Psychological drama – The strange – 23 mins
Language: Creole with French and English subtitles
Themes: Desire – Wandering – Dreams

Producer: We Film (Jonathan RubinFrançois Magal)
Sales agent: L'Agence du court métrage (Florence Keller)

In the underground parking lot of an office building, two night security guards ensure that nothing happens to the fancy cars under their care. The lot is empty and the night is long. To keep themselves company, they discuss their philosophies of life, past troubles, and dreams.

Vincent Fontano

Article by  Short Film Department

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