EURO CONNECTION took place for the 5th time this year at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market. To date  31 films have been completed from the  first three editions of this co-production forum for shorts. Euro Connection shorts have grabbed selections and awards all over Europe: Golden Bear in Berlin, selections at Annecy, Locarno and Venice, Best European Film in Brest, Quartz for Best Short Film (Swiss Film Academy), Robert Bosch Co-production Prize, Best Original Film Score in Clermont-Ferrand, etc. The list of major recognitions testifies to the quality of the projects presented in Clermont-Ferrand.

From the onset, Euro Connection has attracted a generation of filmmakers who are keen to explore the challenges and benefits of co-production for shorts. 150 participants converge each year to meet potential partners at this stimulating event. Results do not always show up instantly. A co-production deal can extend the development period and some projects actually start production one year after they are pitched.

Various types of collaboration emerge. Over a third of the completed films are co-productions between two or more countries. Others bring together creative people from various European backgrounds in their cast or crew. TV channels also play their part, especially in France, where several “Euro Connection” shorts were broadcast on Arte, Canal+ and  France Télévisions.

This is how Lee Cronin, director/producer of the project Ghost Train described his recent experience: “Being part of Euro Connection in 2012 turned out to be more than just a wonderful opportunity to network and engage with like-minded filmmakers, it provided the catalyst and platform for my latest film to go into production.

Less than 12 months later we enter the final stages of post-production in an engagement between Ireland and Finland – a fantastic turnaround and exciting collaboration which bodes well for future projects. Being in the right place, at the right time to meet the right people is my abiding memory of attending Euro Connection – without the event, it is quite likely my film would not have been made”.

Anthony Vouardoux’s Yuri Lennon’s Landing on Alpha 46 (Euro Connection 2009) is an example of a successful career for a co-produced short. This Swiss-German co-production was sold to Arte and TSR. It was licensed for world sales by the KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg and was eventually awarded the “Quartz” for Best Short Film by the Académie du Cinéma Suisse in 2011.

Yorgos Zois’ Casus Belli further illustrates the possible impact for filmmakers in the long run. This fragile Greek project was pitched at Euro Connection 2009 where it secured a minor participation from French company La Voie Lactée. Casus Belli swept awards at home and prestigious selections abroad (Venice, Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, etc.), becoming a festival hit. Director Yorgos Zois has been invited by the Cinéfondation to present his first feature project Stage Fright at L’Atelier in Cannes this year.

The next Call for Projects for Euro Connection will be published in Sept. 2013 at www.clermont-filmfest.com

written by Laurent Crouzeix

EURO CONNECTION IN BRIEF

Euro Connection is the European Short Film Co-production Forum taking place each year at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market. This industry platform aims at fostering partnerships between European production companies, funders and broadcasters for short film projects. The event includes pitching sessions and business meetings.

The annual Call for Projects is issued in September of each year at www.clermont-filmfest.com and through a network of correspondent film and media organizations in associated countries throughout Europe who actively take part in the selection process.

Producers located in one of the associated countries for the next edition can apply with a short film project :

a)    with partial funding secured in its country of origin;

b)    that is being developed with a serious approach to European co-production;

c)    for which shooting shall start no earlier than June the following year;

d)    whose total duration is under 40 minutes.

The producers of the selected projects are invited to Euro Connection. Invitation covers hotel and meals for the duration of their stay and includes full Market accreditation as well as access to all Euro Connection facilities. The Book of Projects and Producers is published and made available online early January.

Euro Connection is organised by Sauve Qui Peut le Court Métrage in association with the MEDIA Desk France and the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée, with the support of the MEDIA programme and the PROCIREP.

More information: www.clermont-filmfest.com

Contact: Laurent Crouzeix, l.crouzeix@clermont-filmfest.com