The Résidence of the Cinéfondation celebrates its 10th birthday. To mark the occasion, on Wednesday 19th May, a number of comedians read out extracts from the new project of six of its former residents.This initiative may well be repeated next year.Over the past 10 years, the Résidence has received more than 120 film-makers from 50 countries.
Each year, the Cinéfondation selects 12 budding film-makers, from a pool of some 400 candidates, to write their first or second feature film in residencyin Paris. The Résidence runs two sessions attended by six participants each (running from October to February and March to July). The six residents live in the same apartment, discuss their previous films (short and/or first feature-length) and their project, and give each other mutual help and advice.
Since 2000, around 65% of the films have been made. If we add in those films that will be ready by the end of this year, this figure rises to 80%. Notably, many of the projects written at the Résidence have gone on to reap success at international festivals such as Delta by Kornel Mundruczo, In Competition at Cannes in 2008, Caramel by Nadine Labaki (Directors’ Fortnight 2007) or The Foresaken Land by Vimukthi Jayasundara (Caméra d’or 2005).
Over the past 10 years, the Résidence has received young film-makers of more than 50 different nationalities. China, the United States, Romania and Israel are among the film-making industries that are represented most heavily. In recent years, many South Americans have also added their names to the list. “They account for four out of six of the current participants: a Mexican, a Colombian and two Chileans. I always select the best projects, regardless of geography,” says the Director of the Cinéfondation, Georges Goldenstern. “The same goes for the proportion of men and women. That just depends on the year in question. In 2007, we had a session with five females and one male.”
Each year, the twelve residents are invited to Cannes to make a 5-minute pitch for their project to professionals. This year, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Résidence, Georges Goldenstern also invited six former residents with their new project for a 10-minute reading of extracts by comedians. The six directors invited were the Iranian, Mitra Farahani, the Australian, Ben Hackworth, the Korean, Kim Hee-Jung, the Chinese, Kit Hui, the Kazakh, Abay Kulbayev, and the Israeli, Noam Kaplan.
This initiative was very well received, and Georges Goldenstern is thinking of repeating it next year for the year's residents. He would also like to improve support to film-makers even further by offering the advice of an experienced scriptwriter once writing is over, as well as an editor at the post-production stage. He is also looking into how to encourage distribution of these films worldwide through creation of a network of cinemas or a distribution label. For the Cinéfondation, it’s not only a question of identifying talent and enabling people to successfully carry out their project, but also supporting them throughout their career.
B. de M.