Interview With Pocket Film Festival

Daily / News - 14 June 2009 22:39

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Il Pocket film festival è il primo festival europeo di cortometraggi girati con il telefonino. Giunto alla 5a edizione, si tiene in questi giorni al Centre George Pompidou, dall'11 al 14 giugno 2009. Abbiamo intervistato Yves Gaillard, addetto alla programmazione internazionale.   (Leggi la traduzione).
  With the Pocket Film Festival, the first Festival about short films entirely shot with cell phones, you've been the pioneers in Europe. Nevertheless homely videos, shot with cell phones, are springing up on YouTube too: in your opinion, how can we speak about "short movies"?

What we show at Pocket Films, and at Cortofonino Film Fest too, is creative expression, made with cheap tools : mobile phones, video-sharing websites such as YouTube or vimeo, free and easy to use... The tools in itself are not important, it is how it is used for a purpose. Here at Pocket films we show films made by accomplished filmmakers, such as Jaume Balagueiro, Lech Kowalski... They make films with 35mm, and with mobile phones. Can we say the results are "movies"? In their eye, I can guarantee you they are, they are part of their work as filmmakers. It truly depends of the purpose of the artist I think.

Pocket Film Festival is twinned with the Cortofonino Film Festival. Are there differences between the French videos and the Italian ones?
I do not want to generalize, it is a tricky question, but I must say each year I wait impatiently for the Cortofonino Film Fest selection, because I know I will always be surprised. I think the persons who participate to cortofonino are younger, maybe less experienced than the French participants to our festival, and, their films have certain "over the top" quality I like a lot. I particularly appreciate this year Heroe313 , I find it fun and surrealist, and a film like this could not be made by a French filmmakers . It seems to me French wants to make "experimental films", reaching new frontiers of image making, but it is a bit selfish in my opinion. The Italian films wants to give the audience strong feelings, fun and fear, or strong social comments such as Awake I liked also a lot. It is more direct, I appreciate this.

What are the modalities for participating in the Pocket Film Festival and how does the Festival actually work?
We open our call for entries in January of each year, and we accept all kind of films and length. We ask the filmmakers to sign a creative common contract with us, for non-commercial presentation. We select an average of 20 films from all around the world for our international competition, with a 1.500 euros and 1.000 euros prize, given by a jury. We show in non -competitive around a hundred films. But the festival has a life all over the year, as we organize workshops and screenings in Europe and above, and we try as much as possible to show our selection - both competitive and non-competitive - to as much audience as possible.

 

Many directors, as Alain Fleischer or Spike Lee, have realized short films entirely shot with a cell phone camera. In your opinion, why? Could it be a kind of anxiety about the democratic nature of this way of expression, the testing of a temporary fashion or new possibilities for directors?
I did not like  the result of the Spike Lee experiment : it feels like a marketing gesture, but let's wait and see maybe he will go on this path in the future and make something good. But I do not think artists such Spike Lee, Alain Fleischer who is a famous writer and video artist in France, or Jaume Balaguero have "anxiety" regarding their art. But for sure they see there is something going on with these small tools, and they want to try it too, see if they can adapt their creativity to this absence of techniques and money. And what is sure too in my opinion, is that someone who is able to make a terrific film with a mobile phone, can do terrific films with 35mm camera!

According to Spike Lee, within a year, Hollywood will product the first movie entirely shot with a cell phone. Do you agree?
The mobile phones, or digital camera, are getting more and more good in term of images: some of them are dv, or even hd quality! I am sure the trend launched by horror films like Cloverfield or Diary of the Dead will produce other interesting Hollywood films.
But in my opinion it is more in the field of independent cinema things could move. We present this year 2 films shot with mobile phone, professionally produced:  La Paura by Pippo Delbono, who will be the main guest of the Locarno Festival, and Do Me Love by Lou Viget and Jacky Kattu, a French author film. Lots of producers look more and more to festivals like ours, because they feel  something is going on, and films does not need big money to be good. Even special effects can be made at home now! I am sure we will see more and more films shot with very light equipment in the future, the dogma - dv - period in the 90s was just an appetizer. And festivals like ours are a perfect spot to see this evolution.

http://www.festivalpocketfilms.fr/

 

 

 

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