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Xavier Legrand, director of Custody wich received the 2019 César award for the Best Film, is the Guest of Honor this year. He will meet in this occasion all the directors of the 2019 Nuits en Or edition.

 

 

 

 

© Jade Annest, Violette Franchi, Anna Verstratete - ENS Louis Lumière pour l’Académie des César 2019

 

 

Some festivals that honor short films sometimes have the malicious pleasure of indulging in play in words to name their events: “Short and sweet”, “Long view on the short”,
“Make it short”, “Hollyshorts Film Festival”... A bit like the hairdressing salons have fun with their “Love is in the hair”, “To Dye or Not To Dye”, “My hair lady”, or “Hair and back again”.


Jokes aside, the short format is much more serious and demanding than we think.
A short film is generally considered as a test, a format enabling to win its spurs. It is true that it allows this, but it is reductive to consider it only as a first attempt.

A short story also does not have to be a summary of a future longer one. A short film cannot be the synthesis of a next longer film. A short film is a film in itself and the issue of a limited amount of time to tell a history must be at the center of the design of it. The best shorts are those who have respected this constraint.


I wrote my first script, the short film Nothing to lose, with this perspective. I did not want to lock myself in the first attempt of the beginner or offer an excerpt from my future feature film Custody. I simply had to build the concept of the film by tapping into the essence of its story: the escape of a woman and her two children fleeing the terror and violence of the family home. Fleeing as fast as possible meant not wasting time in the narrative while taking all my time to embody it. It was about taming time rather than confronting it, while challenging me to use this short story into a long story.


The short film is a work, and there are no small stories in the great art of Cinema: a short story by its duration is also a great story in its Time. Let's continue to celebrate the cinema, whether short or long, as long as it is grand, beautiful and good.

 

Xavier Legrand