AWFJ EDA Award @ DOXA 2017 Filmmaker Interview: Claire Simon on LE CONCOURS

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claire simon 275Le Concours, translated as “The Entrance Exam,” is an in-depth and intimate look at the students looking to gain a place in La Fémis, one of the most famous and prestigious film schools in the world, where filmmaker Claire Simon was, herself, the Head of Directing Studies. As the budding cinéastes struggle to find a place, the narrative spends a good deal of time with their interlocutors, pulling back the curtain to reveal the depth of seriousness and care that is extended to the students. Impassioned arguments about merit, and the very nature of cinema are hurled into the air. Read what Claire Simon has to say about her most recent project.

How and why did you encounter and commit to the subject/theme of your film and the main characters in it?

I have been working a long time in this very selective and famous film school. I had decided to leave but I thought I could make a film about this very protected castle where so many young people wànt to get in, and quickly I decided to film the entrance exam as the first step for the special ones on the the draw bridge.

What did you learn about the subject/theme from making the film?

How everyone in a selection is projecting one’s desire on the person in front no matter if you are a jury or an applicant. To be recognized as an applicant you have to know how to talk about your self. If you haven’t been brought up in that tradition you can be in trouble…

What did you learn about filmmaking from making the film?

Trust your subject and your own rules.

claire simon le concors

What were your biggest challenges?

Make the topic universal and human.

Do you think that being female gave you a distinct perspective and/or way of handling the filmmaking process?

Not really in this film but its impossible to figure out what has not occured :I am a female filmmaker

What are your plans for the future?

Getting funds for the films I am making

Who are the Filmmakers whose work has inspired/influenced your own?

F Wiseman, J van der Keuken, A Varda, J Eustache.

What advice do you have for other female Filmmakers who are trying to make their way through a still male-dominated industry?

Keep your finger on the button record/stop of the camera so you remain the director who ever you work with.

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