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Cinema Cannes 2019 France

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Short films find room of their own

The Cannes Festival Palace early morning, film fans desperately seeking invitations for Golden Palm Competition premières, May 2019 rosslyn hyams/RI

Concise and with something for all cinema genres, short films are well represented at  the Cannes Film Festival this year. Hidden gems are everywhere.

Short films have their place in the official selection’s short film section, the Cinéfondation’s line-up as well as a Shorts Corner in the Film Market. Some of them are competing for significant prizes.

Films lasting less than an hour have been a feature of the festival for more than 20 years with the Cinefondation, the Paris-based workshop founded in 1998 by former Cannes Festival director, Gilles Jacob, choosing between 15 and 20 films from specialist schools all over the world.

French director Claire Denis presides over the joint Short Film and Cinefondation jury this year which will decide which film wins the Golden Palm for best short film as well as three awards for films in the Cinefoundation line-up.

The Short Film competition section at Cannes 2019 provides an opening for US actress Chloe Sevigny to get behind the camera with her 15-minute film White Echo. Sevigny plays Minerva in Jim Jarmusch’s opening Cannes film, The Dead Don’t Die. In 2017, another US actress, Kristen Stewart premièred her 18-minute powerful and experimental Come Swim in the Short Film Competition.

With The Dive, a feature which released in 2018 already to his name, Israeli Yona Rozenkier has two short films at Cannes this year.

Seven-minute long Parapim (Butterflies) is one of the 11 competing for the Short Film Golden Palm. Elsewhere, in The SEE Factory, Rozenkier joins fellow director Eleonora Veninova from North Macedonia on a short film called The Sign.

The Directors' Fortnight hosts the See Factory at Cannes 2019

The Factory, hosted by the Directors’ Fortnight has organized cross-culture film-making experiments, with a different focus-country or region each year.

Starting with Taiwan in 2013,then Copenhagen and Helsinki, Chile, South Africa, Lebanon and Tunisia, this year it’s South Eastern Europe.

The Directors Fortnight, run by the French Film Directors’ Guild, SRF, choses its own separate short-film section, as does the Critics’ Week, where all the shorts are debuts.