Très Court International Film Festival

| May 27, 2014 | Comments (0)



John Spillane reports from the Limerick short film screenings which took place as part of the Très Court International Film Festival.

From May the 2nd until May the 9th Limerick City of Culture played host to a delightful series of screenings provided by Alliance Franҫaise on behalf of the Très Court International Film Festival. “Très Court” can be translated to “very short” and very short the films were, because in order to qualify for the festival your short could only be a maximum of 3 minutes (excluding title and credits). The result was a show case of 44 films of the highest quality ranging from heart-breakingly tragic to gut-wrenchingly hilarious. I have experienced very few cinema experiences as engaging and entertaining as the Très Court International Film Festival as it embodied everything I want from short films.

Très Court truly is an international film festival, that took place from the 2nd to the 11th of May, with screenings and events in over 100 cities across Europe and beyond. Limerick’s involvement in the festival took place between the 2nd and 9th of May with a screening on both of those nights at 69 O’Connell Street. 69  O’Connell Street is quickly filling the void Limerick has had for the less mainstream avenues of film. The regular screenings it hosts throughout the year act as a Limerick’s equivalent to the Light House cinema or similar establishments. It has played host to several festivals this year as well as their own film club.

However, this was not the festival’s only involvement with the city as they also took the screenings to local secondary schools for special student screenings. Crescent College Comprehensive, Villiers School, Castletroy College and Salesians Pallaskenry all took part in what I can only assume was a fantastic cultural experience for those students, many of whom have never been exposed to such a variety of film styles or even short film in general.

Everyone at the screening I attended, and I assume the other screenings too, got to vote to help decide the audience winner of the festival. We were given a ballet with each of the films and asked to select our top 3 in no particular order. At the intermission I had already marked half of them in my head under the category “How can I not give that my vote!” It was so tough to decide on a top 3 as so many of the films were not only fantastically entertaining but they also exhibited a brilliant level of skill from the filmmakers involved. With only 3 minutes at their disposal the filmmakers had to utilize inventive storytelling and engaging visuals to try and be memorable. Some of the films would certainly be of the art-house variety and were more reminiscent of a contemporary dance performance than anything playing in your local cinema. Many of them were works of animation with humour and storytelling on par with any of the Pixar short films. There were even a few that looked to have been made on a minimalistic budget but still stood out due to the strength and wittiness of their script.

This week the festival prize winners were announced and I can vouch that each and every one of them were short films of the highest calibre. The winners were as follows:

International competition 1st place:  Desperita (Wake up) – Christian Avilés  – Spain

The nature of our subconscious state is explored with the use of delicate and beautiful cinematography. A visually intriguing live-action film.

Originality Award: Wind Robert Löbel  – Germany

The people of the world have had to adjust their living habits to accommodate a great and constant wind. A quirky and playful animation.

The winner of the public vote was also The Wind.


Animation Award: Eye in Tuna Care  – John Walter Lustig  – United States

In an alternate reality where everyone has a giant pair of lips in place of their head, a dentist is faced with a daunting challenge. A darkly funny animation.

Canal+ Award: Dead heat between;

Wish list  – Andrew Griffin – United Kingdom

A montage of individuals letting us know what it is they want the most. A witty and amusing animation.

Cooking with Venus  – Glen et Shaun Vivaris  – United States

Two men from the distant future attempt to cook a challenging meal with tragically comedic results. This is a live-action film ripe with slapstick humour.

This festival was a special kind of surprise, the likes of which Limerick has too few of. It was great that Limerick during its banner year as National City of Culture managed to attract and deliver such a wonderful event. I will be waiting very anxiously hoping to see if the festival will return next year. In the meantime, I would certainly recommend any of our readers to try and see any and all of these films online or anywhere they can.

John Spillane is a Limerick-based comedian and aspiring screenwriter. He has built a strong reputation for his alternative observational style and dramatic enthusiasm on stage. He is one of the co-founders of Filibusters comedy, a troupe of comedians who run comedy clubs in Dublin, Limerick and Galway cities to name a few.  John is a co-operative placement student and is currently working for the Limerick City of Culture. You can follow him on Twitter @spillanejohn or find out when the nearest Filibuster show is on near you @TheFilibusters


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Category: Exclusives, Featured, Festivals

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