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Clermont-Ferrand 2018: Day 5

Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival from February 1st to February 8th

I didn’t sleep much better, but I forced myself up at 7:30am to get to the Unifrance networking breakfast at 9:00am. I’d RSVP’ed and received an email reminder last night that said I was “expected” this morning, which definitely tripped my guilt response. I’m glad I went, though, since I met a whole group of interesting people seated at my table, including two Swiss filmmakers, a programmer from the Brussels Short Film Festival, and several producers and distributors. But in what might be becoming a theme, there wasn’t much food on offer, and I drank too much coffee instead.

I then did a walk around the market, and spoke to the good people at the Irish Film Board stand. I’m still working out a few details of our February 22 screening of recent Irish shorts, and they also gave me the new collection DVD. Feeling both famished and exhausted even before noon, I headed for Le 1513 for a gallette (this time the Deux Viandes, with beef, chicken, rice and cream – a bit too rich, actually) and then home for an epic three hour sleep.

Mostly refreshed, I headed back to the market in time for the daily Happy Hour, where I chatted with some of my new connections for an hour or so. Heading outside, I was delighted to find the same great klezmer band I saw in 2014 playing again, and this time I was in time for champagne (and pretzels!). KtipietoK OrKeStaR put a huge smile on my face and even gave me back a bit of energy. I counted 16 of them and it was a bit hard to tell where the band ended and the crowd began. Seeing them made me realize yet again how important live music is to me.

When they finished, I had time to get in line at Salle Vian (the lower level of the Maison de la Culture) for the F12 programme. All the films were well made but I found a few too earnest or too quirky to rise above mediocrity. The exception was Les Indes galantes, a five minute dance film from the Paris Opera pairing “krump” dancing with an operatic piece by Jean-Philippe Rameau. The strange pairing worked perfectly, and as with most dance films, I was overcome with emotion. The screening was over before 10:00pm and since I’d heard nothing about any more parties, I was grateful to just head home.

Despite spending a large chunk of the afternoon in bed, I felt like I made the most of Tuesday. Just one more full day left here. I’ll need to attack the market with a bit more focus tomorrow, and perhaps spend some time in the video library. I’m meeting my local friend Ilias and his brother for dinner tomorrow, and he’s promised to take me to a Moroccan restaurant.