Film Feature: My French Film Festival – Short Films by Female Filmmakers

The 8th annual My French Film Festival runs online until 19th February 2018. Discover the five selected shorts from female filmmakers, before watching them for free!

Noyade interdite (No Drowning)

Director: Mélanie Laleu

Noyade interdite is a neon-infused, fever dream of a short film. Despite its slight runtime, the film successfully builds a believable dystopia where everything is coin-operated. Protagonists Paula and Dagobert connect outside of their jobs, where they trade on people’s hopes, dream and fantasies a coin at a time. Paula will give you one minute of pleasure in her mermaid’s outfit, while Dagobert literally profits from people’s wishes, by collecting the coins from a fountain. Filmmaker Mélanie Laleu has crafted a poignant and funny short that bubbles with life, whilst exploring the lonely realities of the capitalist dream. Not-to-be-missed.

Chasse Royale

Directors: Romane Gueret, Lise Akoka

Social-realist drama Chasse Royale focuses on the moment where everything could change for young and angry Angelique. When casting directors spot her at school, she has the opportunity to escape poverty and experience the bright lights of Paris. But she must discard her tough exterior and tap into her real emotional heartache, if she’s to land the role and prove everyone wrong. Can Angelique ever be one of the women she obsesses over on TV? This empathetic film brings us into Angelique’s world whilst raising questions about the impact and affect of exploiting real people for entertainment.

Please Love Me Forever

Director: Holy Fatma

The wonderfully-ambitious Please Love Me Forever has a number of impressive aspects – not least, its visual effects and biting commentary on the impact of plastic surgery on mind and body. But Holy Fatma’s short film jolts from a fantastical (even nightmarish) world to everyday mundanity too quickly to be convincing. Is protagonist Lili a sweet, naive princess locked away by her evil mother, or a brainwashed member of a bizarre plastic surgery cult who projects wild fantasies to cover for real life horrors? Taken as a commentary on whiteness and beauty, the film may say something intriguing, but the narrative falls short of being entirely satisfying.

La Caresse (The Stroke)

Director: Morgane Polanski

La Caresse is a short film about a man suffering from OCD in a tiny, yet-perfectly-kept, London studio. When a cat seeks his attention at his patio door, he ventures outside into the overwhelmingly loud and tactile world beyond his bubble. The score and precise diegetic sound is particularly effective, but the film’s provenance may raise some questions: the filmmaker is the daughter of Roman Polanski, and the film was produced by Brett Ratner through RatPac Entertainment. The glossy, high-end production signals Morgane Polanski as a talent, but in the era of #MeToo, maybe this film needs more convincing contextualisation to be worthy-of-attention.

Que vive l’Empereur (Long Live the Emperor)

Director: Aude Léa Rapin

Despite its soft, painterly visuals, Aude Léa Rapin’s Que vive l’Empereur feels as though it is desperately trying to escape from more masculine confines. Set during a Napoleonic war re-enactment weekend, the story indulges Bébé, its selfish and ignorant male protagonist, whilst purporting to be from his girlfriend, Ludo’s, perspective. Ludo barely has space to breathe and she breaks down numerous times as Bébé shuns and spites her. Bébé’s fall is flimsily compared to the fall of Napoleon, but the film itself doesn’t seem persuaded that Ludo is, indeed, her boyfriend’s equal, or truly deserving of our focus. Long live the emperor, indeed.

Watch all of the short films for free on the My French Film Festival site!

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