Un court métrage NZ en competition au festival de Clermont Ferrand
À l’occasion de l’ouverture du Festival International du Court Métrage de Clermont Ferrand (du 31 Janvier au 8 février) nous avons le plaisir de parler de Cinéma avec Claire van Beek, réalisatrice de Daniel, un très beau court métrage Néo-Zélandais, sélectionné dans la catégorie Internationale. On ne vous dévoilera pas l’intrigue car nous espérons vous voir nombreux lors de projections futures en Nouvelle-Zélande. On croise donc les doigts pour une sélection lors du Festival International du film de Nouvelle-Zélande en juillet prochain ou durant Show Me Short en octobre.
Pour les français de France se trouvant à Clermont Ferrand, vous trouverez en bas de l’article le programme de la sélection I5 dans laquelle se trouve Daniel. Quelques mots tout de même sur ce court métrage qui nous raconte l’histoire d’une jeune novice se trouvant dans un couvent isolé et qui est confrontée au désir soudain d'explorer sa sexualité à la suite d'une rencontre avec un lézard à la langue bleue… Mais en attendant de pouvoir découvrir cette fantastique histoire, voici celle de Claire van Beek !
lepetitjournal.com: Congratulations! Your short film Daniel has been selected at Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Could you explain what this selection means for you?
Claire van Beek: Thank you! It is pure elation to be selected for CFISFF. I am immensely proud of Daniel. Firstly: So much love and blood go into making a short film - and you want your film to be SEEN. Thanks to our selection, Daniel will not only screen 8 times at the festival, but it has opened up our film to the literal world! There is nothing greater than I could hope for, then to have an ongoing conversation around the themes and content of the film.
Secondly: I am humbled to be joining so many crazily talented filmmakers. Again - can there be anything greater than to be able to connect with voices and visions from across the globe, where we celebrate each other's work and explore the themes and ideas of the moment?
Finally: I adore short films. They are an almost perfect art form, and so to bathe in short films for the duration of CFISFF - at the world's most prestigious and recognized short film festival? Heaven!
You will be traveling to Clermont Ferrand. What do you expect? What are you planning to do during the festival?
I am coming from Summer in the Central Otago of New Zealand, where I am currently Jane Campion's assistant for her latest film The Power of the Dog. So I am expecting a shock in many ways - the shock of going from sweltering 30-degree heat to the beauty and sting of Europe winter... the shock of a new adventure on the other side of the world and navigate a new time zone and language... but mostly my expectation is the joy and privilege of being 100% present in Clermont Ferrand - to soak up every event, film, and opportunity possible. We will be like little New Zealand vacuum cleaners - inhaling all that we can!
Could you tell us a bit about your collaboration with your producer Alix Whittaker? How does the project start? How did you connect and achieve this project together? Will be possible to watch your short film in New Zealand soon?
I was so excited by Daniel from the beginning - and that has never left me. It started with some potent visual images that I had swimming in my head...which I fed with some childhood memories that seemed to be connected...and some current things on my mind that I was trying to process. As I further researched elements of the story - ie the locusts - I couldn't believe how much they connected to the themes of religion; touch; and the desire to shed one's skin and start afresh. The film just became richer and richer. In a strange way, I feel very lucky to have been the writer and director of the film. I can't explain it, but it doesn't feel as if I made the film. It is was a lot of hard work, but not effort - if that makes sense. I was just always serving the story, and what needed to be told. The path was (usually!) pretty clear.
One of the best things that have ever happened in my life was meeting producer Alix Whittaker. Alix is unparalleled. I don't want to say too many good things about her, in case everyone tries to snap her up - but basically Daniel has been realized to its full spectrum of being because of Alix's commitment, unrelenting passion, and tireless hard work. She has been a supportive friend throughout and helped with some tough decisions we had to make along the way. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge for someone so young and is an extremely courageous and generous person.
We met by accident (or maybe not!) and if I had my way I would make one more of her - so I could have her all to myself. New Zealand audiences have not seen Daniel yet. But we absolutely hope it will be selected for New Zealand's premier festivals - NZ International Film Festival, and Show Me Shorts.
Are you familiar with French cinema? If yes could you tell us how? Do you have a French movie or a director/ actor that inspires you?
Well, French cinema has helped shaped the world, of course! The reputation of French cinema is almost unparalleled. The craft / passion / vision / execution / storytelling / risk... love! I have been attending film festivals since I was a teenager, so the French cinema has also shaped me. One of the French films that I first saw was "À ma soeur" by Catherine Breillat. That was such a female and complex film. And my god - shocking! It is also a pleasure to indulge in the black and white masterpieces of Truffaut. I also admire the bravery, strength, and grace of Isabelle Huppert, and French /English Charlotte Gainsbourg.
What do you think about New Zealand movies? How will you define the New Zealand cinema in general? Could you recommend a New Zealand film than french people should watch?
New Zealand cinema is often referred to as Cinema of Unease, or as gothic, and I think these are both true and are glorious. New Zealand is a dichotomy of paradise and darkness. We are very connected to our land and to nature - I think our cinema reflects this.