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Why your Cannes “selection” makes no news for us

> What is Cannes Short Film Corner and why being “selected” for it doesn’t mean that your film is being screened at the prestigious festival
By Editorial Team • Published on May 6, 2014

Cannes Shorts

It’s that time of the year when everyone is talking about Cannes. We receive numerous emails informing us about selection of short films at Cannes Film Festival. Inevitably, the so-called ‘selection’ is for the Short Film Corner (SFC) of the festival, a networking platform and semi-market run by the festival meant for short filmmakers.

We try to respond to such enthusiastic filmmakers explaining why it doesn’t make news to be accepted at Cannes Short Film Corner. A few accept our response gracefully; others write us bitter mails alleging that we only support big films (they mean feature films, we guess!)

The ignorance of the mainstream media makes our job all the more difficult. Why can’t we publish stories of SFC selection when the mainstream media is going gaga about it:

‘A Letter From My Father’ heads to Cannes Film Festival the Times Of India  17 Apr 2014, 05:50 IST

Chaitanya Krishna’s short film goes to Cannes the Times Of India 27 Mar 2014, 05:21 IST

It’s a promising start: ‘Darpok’ director on Cannes screening Zee News, May 1, 2014

So, here’s why we don’t consider “selection” at the Cannes Short Film Corner important enough to be written about in DearCinema:

  • There is no selection involved, it’s only registration.
  • Any eligible film (it has to be subtitled in French or English, Maximum duration of 35 min) can be registered at SFC with the payment of a registration fee. (Euro 90, Rs. 7500 approx)
  • Usually, more than 2000 films are registered at SFC every year. Last year the number was 2,178; this year it’s 910 and still counting.
  • This year till date 24 Indian short films have been registered at SFC.
  • SFC films aren’t officially screened in any section of the festival but are available on Digital Film Library.
  • You can screen your film after renting one of the mini-screening rooms with a maximum capacity of 12 but that is nowhere close to an official screening.

You won’t even have to write to us if your film finds a place in the official short film selection or Critics’ Week/Directors’ Fortnight. We promptly reported about Gitanjali’s Rao’s “True Love Story” which is the only short film selected in any of the sections/sidebars of the Cannes Film Festival this year.

So, if you’ve registered your film at the Short Film Corner, we’re really happy that you’ve taken the first step towards taking your film out to the world. We really hope you’re able to meet and network with festivals and industry people. We wish you all the best and if you would like to write a guest post about your experience of attending SFC, you’re most welcome to write to us.

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12 Responses to “Why your Cannes “selection” makes no news for us”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great article – NOT!
    Firstly, You are e-zine with an Indian editorial, which means that there resides a “i’m smarter than you” worm in you where the sun don’t shine!
    Cannes Short film corner IS as “SELECTION” of 2000 short films to the market. I know films that were rejected. The films have to have a certain quality (semi-professional) about it to be selected.
    The articles mentioned on the mainstream Indian media (your three links) says exactly what is.
    7000 Rs is a lot of money for an Indian to “gamble” on a film, and a letter of “acceptance” mentions “your are officially selected”. So i don’t see why these struggling filmmakers share there joy to other (not-so smart as Dearcinema) medias?

    Finally: Congrats to all who made it to “SFC at Cannes” this is great step at learning what the industry is like, it is even better if you go to CANNES, as they give you an almost-full access pass to the worlds biggest festival.

  2. Cinemalover says:

    This is not exactly right and you are demotivating film makers who rarely gets anything for their films. There are multiple films which gets rejected in terms of different professional parameters. And only 25-30 films from a country is still an achievements.
    So be cheerful if your film has made it to the cannes. There are lot of films more than 15 mins so they are left with no other option as SFC takes film only less than 15 mins.
    Finally
    http://www.cannescourtmetrage.com/en/reglement

  3. Anonymous says:

    The article actually is to demotivate shortfilm makers who by after lot of struggle make films. 120 country participate in this corner and lot of films get rejected as well. A small festival gets an application in thousands. and here 25-30 film at cannes really an achievements.from India. They accept films based on professional parameters and most of the films are good in making while some are not as well. Even all qualified makers get a free entry to the festivals. So All film makers who makes film by their own fund (mostly) share your joy with few publications . (So many big films do it in so many ways) . Congrats to all the films makers who has made it to Cannes SFC.

  4. Rakesh says:

    Thanks for your kind words Dear Cinema Editorial team,please make little correction in your research about Cannes SFC,they have a proper system in place to accept or reject any film (please read their rules and regulation paragraph nr.1 point nr.B and right of refusal in paragraph nr. 2) and just registering a film in SFC does not guarantee the screening in SFC.Moreover once the film get accepted,Cannes SFC provides 2 accreditations to people involved in that film and that alone cost some 360 euro each which is much more than the registration fee and addition to that the screening rooms are free of cost. We are thankful to Cannes SFC for providing and encouraging the upcoming film makers to explore themselves in such a prestigious platform where we get a chance to interact and if possible showcase our talent to the Cinema lovers from across the World.and if you think only 24 Indian film makers have registered in SFC then you are highly mistaken or misguided. Please check with SFC again. i personally requested you to put our film’s name in your festival section update and but did not ask to make it a news. and i am sure by putting even all the 24 names in your festival section would only encourage the future film makers and in a way you will be supporting their efforts to make cinema. i would definitely share my experience with you. Best Regards Rakesh Mehta

  5. Im Kwon says:

    To the Editorial team,

    my very first short film was selected to SFC. that moment was something that none of you can imagine, only a filmmaker who has been there knows it. SFC was the foundation of my film career. if I thought the way you all thinking right now at that time, I couldn’t have done many other films. SFC gave me exposure, and made me who I am today. I’m thankful for that, which I’m sure only someone who has been there would know.
    do not ever discourage young filmmakers.

    cheers.

  6. Sridhar says:

    This article is not about discouraging filmmakers, it’s about being forthright in what capacity the film is being shown. Technically it is true that the short films are being seen in Cannes, but it is not the same as being selected for the Cannes film festival. How many films that attend the Cannes film market boast that they are “at Cannes.” It is a cheap marketing / self-promotion move that has overstayed its welcome. It seems only fair to those filmmakers who are selected by the Cannes Film Festival for competition / sidebar that they rightfully be bestowed with the “official selection” honor.

    It may very well be a big step to have your film shown during (and not at) the festival, in the same city, with all the buyers in town, but it’s disingenuous to place it in the same achievement level as an officially selected film.

    If young filmmakers think calling out the truth on what “screening at Cannes” really implies is discouragement, then they’re in for a future of one crushing disappointment after another. It gets a lot tougher than this.

  7. Jaykumar Shah says:

    Dear DearCinema,
    First things first. I am a fan of this site. It is the first site I open every day morning. My film has been selected for SFC. I have not approached you or any other media channel.

    Though partly correct, I understand your point of view, and I too believe it is not like winning an award. By many journalistic standards, it might not be”news”. But as others have already spoken and I support it, “news” dont make filmmakers, films do.

    And all the people working hard to pursue a dream, some part timers like me with their humble little film and some full timers making some awesome short films like “Dum Dum Deega Deega” and “The Corner Table” (which are a part of SFC this year) feel thankful to Cannes for having a program like this. We look for everyone’s encouragement, but if we stop making attempts for lack of encouragement we were not meant for it. In summary, we understand and disagree with your point of view. In case you cannot put these films on your site, it is ok but please don’t belittle an entire program and hundreds and thousands hours of effort by so many people for ‘sounding’ your personal opinion as you have a platform to do so. And it is very unbecoming of an independent platform like yours to quote names of filmmakers and the media sites to highlight their “ignorance”.

    I have appreciated it when you have explained for Peddlers or for Ugly that director’s fortnight or critics week are not official selections, but are parallel programs. You have not mentioned this type of details and how it works in every post related to Ugly or peddlers or other films, but you show a strong bias against Short Film Corner and it is visible. Isn’t it wrong, especially when SFC is an official program.

    With all respect for everything awesome that your team has been doing, I think this article was not in a good taste.

    -Jay

  8. sanjay gulati says:

    Thanks Dear cinema team for clarifying the situation. there will always be people who not feel happy by knowing the truth but thats fine .

    rgds
    sanjay Gulati

  9. Bijoy says:

    All the writer wants to inform you that there is a difference between getting selected at Cannes and SFC. “Selected” is one of the top most honor and cannot be equated to SFC.
    Though SFC is more of a networking platform.

    • Jaykumar Shah says:

      Editorial page is not the right place to convey that 1 line message is all that everyone else is trying to say.

      We need not get into the semantics, but EVERYONE, even the one who are ‘accepted’ to SFC, understands that it is far from getting “selected” for competition. It is no big deal. But it might be the only chance to get a window to the bigger industry for many who will participate.

      We respect Dearcinema editorials and we feel that such NEGATIVITY should not have found place in the space occupied by ediotrial team. Just check that section, there are 4 wonderful festival guides, then you have pitching advice by Marten Rabarts, Screenplay of Lunchbox, Advice to Indie filmmakers by Guneet Monga and an article that says “why YOUR selection makes no news for US”.

      I hope you are getting the point I am trying to make sir.

      Losing focus can bring down stalwarts. As much as the new filmmakers need to learn patience with the industry, our dear editorial team, need to be patient as well with unnecessary noise that their mailbox might be receiving. That is the differennce between a Semi-pro and a pro. Professionals dont get involved in every debate they get invited to :).

  10. MANOJSRIVASTAVA says:

    Good job, Dear Cinema. A lot of SFC, Cannes Critics Week and Director’s Fortnight has been touted as selection. years ago SFC had a competitive section, even that was not official selection. Now, its only registration at a fee, which is being touted as selection…

  11. Dreamer says:

    “If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” – Will Smith.

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