dimanche 28 mai 2017

French National Animation Festival

Last month I went to the "French national animation festival" in Brittany (Bruz and Rennes) where I was selected to go pitching SIBLINGS (the short movie I am currently developing). It was the first time I was invited to a festival to pitch.

The week I spent there was really interesting, and I met a lot of people whom shared the same passion as me. During this week I was in charge of the Instagram of my former school "The Animation Workshop" in Viborg in order to show my perspective on what an independent animation festival is, and also what is the life of an aspiring animation filmmaker.
(as well as I was updtaing mine @love.on.ur.face)
I decided to share some of my "daily diary" of this week on my blog too so... here is the result of it!

this is the festival website : http://www.festival-film-animation.fr/
and it was located in Bruz and Rennes, in Brittany, in France : CLICK HERE (google map link)

Day one : Monday, the discovery
First thing of the day, the pass for the festival! I got mine, with my name and my status "pitch", with it I can access to the all festival for free. The two first days of the festival were mainly for schools and association, I only met 5 or 6 peoples who were above 15. But it was nice to have an ease in that festival, so I could discover a bit Bruz, eat some culinary specialty (crepes and cider miam!) and get to know my couch surfers (yes I was couch surfing there).
On Monday so, I went to a rehearsal of cine-poetry-concert with a band explaining to an elementary school audience how to record sounds from scratch. They even recorded us doing some sounds for the movie they were playing for. Then I saw some professional short films almost all in papers and it was really interesting to see so many different use of that technic.

Day two : Tuesday, the voting system
Today I went to 2 different professional screening. To reach the two main places of the festival in Bruz ("Grand logis" and "Aurea"), we just had to follow a green line on the floor! Pretty smart!
Because it is an independant festival, each screening require a ticket so the festival can register the number of people at each screening. Before entering in each "in competition" screening you receive a paper with all the name of the shorts and the directors of them for the public to vote. In that way this festival is sure everyone who sees will vote. Generally speaking someone introduce the screening you are gonna see, you see some trailers of the movie screening events of the week, the teaser of the festival and PAF, "place aux films"! I personnaly found that way really interesting because it forces the audience to think, take a side and especially associate each movie to its creators.

Moreover it was a really good weather.

Day three : Wednesday, the opening
Today was the official opening of the festival in Bruz. After having seen some workshop movies done by children or people outside of the animation industry in order to discover the filmmaking process, I went to THE event of the day : the "En sortant de l'école" ciné-concert (the extended version of the one I rehearsed on Monday). A live band played music and sounds for 13 short movies illustrating poetry of famous French poets (Appolinaire, Prévert, Devos etc.). Before each movie a short clip was introducing the work of the director of the next short. Funnily all directors were women! After some graduation movies I went to the official opening ceremony of the festival. First a speech then a big buffet, then networking and more cocktails and a special event screening by the festival. This evening was really nice as people were talking way more easily to each other as I remember this kind of event was. I think this had to do with the little-ness of the festival and the family kind of feeling of it.

Day four : Thursday, THE PITCH
Today I pitched SIBLINGS, in a cinema room with a big audience. I was the third pitch of 6 in total. People asked me precise and interesting question toward my workflow (the actionmatic), the reasons behind the length of my short etc. but generally speaking, it went REALLY WELL. The pitch and the question time was short though (10min to pitch, 5 for questions) and I can tell you now that I got more feedbacks or collaborations offers after the pitch. Funny fact though, a lot of people congratulated me on my "american" pitch; family in Florida, we are apparently not so far!
After that I went to other "transmedia" pitchs and a marathon of the french (really good!) serie "Lastman". Frankly this show is amazing, not just fights, girls and gags but a full story arcs behind, and animation and cinematography really adapted to the plot, Yes, to sm up this day was epic and tiring!

Day five : Friday, more pitchs
Today I went to a conferences about the producers view on the film industry, then to 8 pitchs of short films, then 8 of series. Generally speaking short films were pitched by women between 20 and 30 and the series by omen and women, in group and older. In the afternoon I went to a kinda story making of, of the serie Lastman, presented by Laurent Sarfati and Joseph Jacquet and it was SO interesting! The talk was dynamic funny, Laurent explained to us how they were creating the story for each episodes, how the team worked together, and Joseph was asking deeper question or reminding Laurent about certain anecdoctes. At night I went to see 'Psicaunotas" again (I saw it last year in Annecy). Watching it again, aware of what is happening made me appreciate thismovie more, also at the French producer of "Autour de minuit" who helped a tiny bit on that movie told us about the insight of the production in that movie. And this was really interesting too!

Day six and last one : Saturday, the grand final
Today I went to a making of of the French upcoming movie of Folivari "The Big Bad Fox and other tales" (co-Directed by Benjamin Renner). I can't wait to see this movie (in Annecy or in the theaters!). Later I went to the "rendez vous" of the authors who talked about the why behind the movies and then to the price ceremony of the festival! We also thanked all the volunteers who helped making this festival come true, basically it was 90 per cent retired people from the city, huge congrats to them to make this intense festival run so smoothly! After the ceremony the prized shorts were screening so I went to see them with in mind the point of view of the jury explained earlier. It was really interesting to discover or rediscover these shorts. We finished that day by a buffet and cocktails again and I had a hard time to leave this festival definitely....

So yes this festival was an amazing journey, and I feel really honored to have been selected to go to it, (because otherwise I will not have been able to go I think). I made contacts, I made friends and I made contacts who become friends. My pitch went really well and I got contacts as well as feedbacks from it. I returned to Denmark exhausted but really blessed to have lived that experience.
So from now until Annecy you can find me again at my Open Workshop spot, in the third year building of The Animation Workshop! I am currently working on the story of SIBLINGS and helping OW until the festival of Annecy!
Thanks to have read me, and I hope this was as interesting to you as it was for me,
here is for you a proper Brittany goodbye : KENAVO!

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