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Film Studies and French students at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival

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Film Studies and French A level students visited the 35th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival this spring. The festival, the second largest French film festival after Cannes, attracts some 150,000 visitors, and many national and international directors have been ‘discovered’ at the event.

The students travelled by train from Cambridge and went via Paris where they visited the Cinema Museum and did some sightseeing. They then travelled to Clermont-Ferrand where they watched a huge variety of short films as well as participating in debates with the filmmakers.

Film Studies course team leader Barney Oram comments: “The visit helped them to broaden their own viewing as well as providing an opportunity to take part in the biggest short film festival in Europe.”

What our students said about the visit:


“I really liked the film Hoshigaki. It engaged with Japanese culture and focused on one tradition which is the drying of the persimmon fruit. I really liked this because the fruit was a symbol of the celebration of the dead, and this meaning was brought out powerfully for me.

“This trip let us embrace French culture – and also gave me an opportunity to get to know some new people. All in all, it was a great week out.”


“My favourite film was The God. This was a brilliant film because it showed how a simple an idea could be so comic and so engaging to watch.

“It was  amazing to be able to attend an actual film festival, and get the chance to see a wider range of short films and documentaries, things I would not normally watch. It was also such an experience to talk to directors about their films – it gave me an idea of what types of careerI could follow. I also made some good friends, and it was so nice to meet new people. It is an experience that I will never forget and I will always reflect on. Thank you so much for taking me on this trip and allowing me to experience this.”


La Derniere Caravane was great. The script was superb here. It shows how the stereotypical worker can challenge conventional ideas of how power pushes people. Very good cinema.

“This was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I saw a whole new side to Paris and France that completely changed my opinion of the place. I didn’t know anyone else on the trip, so it’s been such a great opportunity to get to know new people.

“The trip was an amazing idea. It helped develop my knowledge of film and made it more clear how I should enter the industry. Teachers made it easy for everyone to have the right amount of freedom. The experience was great, and I would recommend it to anyone whowould like to sit through a large amount of strange, peculiar, and brilliant films!”