The Competition (Le Concours) Dec18


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The Competition (Le Concours)

Date: Monday, February 25, 2019

Time: 7pm

Location: Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA

Director: Claire Simon

Film Details: 2018, 121 minutes, DCP, French with English subtitles


Winner of the Best Documentary on Cinema Award at the Venice Film Festival. Winner of the True Vision Award at the True / False Film Festival.

Filmmaker Claire Simon will attend in person for discussion.

About the Film:

“Director Claire Simon goes behind closed doors during the months-long admissions period at France’s most selective film school, La Fémis, where thousands of hopefuls apply for only 40 available slots. The state-run institution, which teaches aspiring filmmakers their craft through hands-on training with working professionals, also turns to the latter to evaluate applicants. Simon captures entrance interviews and candid discussions among the selection committee, creating a revealing portrait of an institution and its gatekeepers.” -DOC NYC

“If you’ve ever applied for anything with high stakes—a prestigious school, a dream job—Simon’s film will very slowly wreck you, precisely because it outlines how maddeningly subjective such determinations are… [The Competition] points to the underlying uncertainty in evaluating art.”

Paste Magazine

About the Director:

Born in London in 1955, Caire Simon is a French scriptwriter, actress, cinematographer, editor and director. As a filmmaker she first directed independent shorts. Her best remembered films of the period are “La police” (1988) and “Scènes de ménage”in 1991, starring Miou-Miou.

She then discovered the practice of ‘direct cinema’ with the Ateliers Varan and made several documentaries such as “Les patients” (1989), Coûteque coûte (1995) and Récréations (1998), which garnered multiple awards. Her first fiction feature-length movie, Sinon, oui (1997), the story of a woman who pretends to be pregnant and kidnaps a child, was presented at the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight in 1997.

Her next film, made for TV, Ça, c’est vraiment toi (2000), an original work, half-documentary, half-fiction, filmed within the walls of the European Parliament, is awarded the great prize at the Belfort Film Festival. After an experience in the theater, Claire Simon returned to documentary with 800km de différence – Romance (2002) and Mimi (2003), presented at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2003.

Her second fiction film, Çabrûle (2006) was also selected for the Directors’ Fortnight in 2006. In 2008, Les bureaux de Dieu (2008) is another half-fiction, half-documentary work, with famous actors and actresses as the Family Planning counselors and amateur actresses impersonating real-life women who had come for help or guidance.

An atypical talent in the French movie world, Claire Simon has been trying for more than two decades to this day – ceaselessly and successfully – to capture the essence of reality.