An open letter from the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival to Laurent Wauquiez, President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council
Clermont-Ferrand, 16 May 2023
« We are delighted to be a regular partner of the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, which exactly matches our cultural vision for rigor and accessibility. »
Dear Minister, President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, you pronounced the above words in your editorial for our 2020 catalogue.
This past Friday, 12 May, the standing committee approved reducing by over 50% the subsidies that the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival receives. In addition to this reduction, the coming weeks could see a new decision against the organization Sauve qui peut le court métrage concerning the activities of the Auvergne Film Commission. This means that the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region would cease being our foremost public source of funding.
In the short term, this endangers the Festival and its Short Film Market, our activities throughout the year involving all types of audiences, and of course the jobs that are connected to them. The reduction, which represents nearly 8% of the Festival’s total budget, comes after this year’s Festival has already been held. We have no savings to use to offset the financial loss and the costs we’ve incurred. And add in the context of the post-Covid crisis which hit our resources hard even though our organization has always been recognized for its exemplary financial management (60% subsidized, 40% self-financed). You cannot be unaware of our situation given the numerous warnings we’ve given you about this risk.
Mr. President, in your editorial for our most recent catalogue, you wrote that you were “particularly attached to the Festival”, which “is an immense source of pride for our region” and shows that “cinema’s influence does not end at the city of Lyon”. You stated that the Festival is “a huge public gathering, … a splendid means of transmission”. The gap between what you said and what you have done is all too clear.
You also wrote that the Festival is “a powerful asset in making our region economically attractive”. Precisely. Each euro of publicly invested funds generates twenty-two euros for the area. The Region’s reduction in support will impact the area in terms of cultural, social and tourist activities. Even if we’re only talking about raw numbers, culture has greater direct economic importance than the automotive industry. It represents thousands of jobs; it is at the heart of technological innovations and the area’s influence abroad. But we prefer to talk about ideas: Culture nurtures individual minds, collective thoughts, critical thinking about the world and about future generations of citizens.
More broadly, you may perhaps have noticed from the outpouring of support we’ve received since the announcement of the reductions that the impact of this decision will be felt beyond our region. Every branch of national and international cinema will be affected by this structural event. From film buffs who attend festivals in Paris to renowned filmmakers, from technicians to professional networks, the breadth of support we’ve received and the astonishment they’ve voiced is significant. Our Festival is renowned the world over as the cradle of future filmmaking; it places our region at a major pole on the vast map of every branch of the film industry. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region claims that it wants to be a major film region, but it is sending mixed signals.
Mr. President, since you were elected as head of the Region, we’ve had several opportunities to tell you about our work, our activities and the way in which they affect our area and our audiences. We hope that this letter will help you understand how important and unstable our situation is, and that of the larger spectrum of purveyors of culture in France today.
Mr. President, we ask you to retract your decision to reduce subsidies for the Clermont-Ferrand Festival this year and agree to engage in substantive dialogue immediately with everyone involved in our region’s cultural activity.
Éric Roux, President,
and the entire team at Sauve qui peut le court métrage
The following people already signed the open letter:
Hiam Abbass, Zoel Aeschbacher (Switzerland), Bilal Alkhatib (Palestine), Théo Audoire, Mohammad Babakoohi, Olivier Babinet, Arthur Bacry, Sébastien Bailly, Xacio Baño (Spain), Romain Baudéan, Xavier Beauvois, Frédéric Bélier-Garcia, Faouzi Bensaïdi (Morocco), Touria Benzari, Emmanuelle Bercot, Óscar Bernàcer (Espagne), Julie Bertuccelli, Sébastien Betbeder, Rémi Bezançon, Nicolas Birkenstock, Benoît Blanc, Léo Blandino, Romane Bohringer, David Bodzak (Poland), Amélie Bonnin, Claudia Bottino, Riad Bouchoucha, Zoran Boukherma, Victor Boulenger, Joël Brisse, Thomas Cailley, Jorge Camarotti (Canada, Quebec), Laurent Cantet, Herminio Cardiel (Espagne), Vincent Maël Cardona, Stéphan Castang, Léo Cernic (Italie), Wissam Charaf (Lebanon), Hubert Charuel, Mathilde Chavanne, Jean-Sébastien Chauvin, Davy Chou, Denise Cirone, Hélier Cisterne, Jérémy Clapin, Clément Cogitore, Louise Condemi, Éléonore Costes, Gilles Cuvelier, Joséphine Darcy Hopkins, Cécilia De Arce, Noé Debré, Jean Decré, Camille Degeye, Arnaud Des Pallières, Laure Desmazieres, Céline Devaux, Nicolas Deveaux, Caroline Detournay, Leopold Dewolf, Nikita Diakur (Russia, Germany), Pedro Díaz López (Spain), Douwe Dijkstra (Pays-Bas), Alexandre Dostie (Canada, Quebec), Elsa Duhamel, Jean-Baptiste Durand, Claude Duty, Duván Duque Vargas (Colombia), Dinah Ekchajzer, Ilias El Faris, Mareike Engelhardt, Alain Escalle, Bertille Estramon, Philippe Faucon, Chryssa Florou, Vincent Fontano, Benoît Forgeard, Saul Freed (United Kingdom), Brahim Fritah, Jean-Raymond Garcia, Anne Georget, Marin Gérard, Lisa Giacchero, Juanjo Gimenez (Spain), Antoine Giorgini, Julius Gintaras Blum, Delphine Gleize, Mathias Gokalp, Yann Gonzalez, Tito Gonzalez Garcia (Chile), Marjolaine Grandjean, Eugene Green, Robert Guédiguian, Alain Guiraudie, Rachid Hami, Mo Harawe (Somalia), Marion Harlez Citti, Pang-Chuan Huang (Taiwan), Gérald Hustache-Mathieu, Danielle Jaeggi (Switzerland), Martin Jauvat, Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, Théo Jollet, Claire Juge, Mathieu Kassovitz, Garance Kim, Cédric Klapisch, Julia Kowalski, Maxime-Claude L’Écuyer (Canada, Quebec), Ariane Labed, Nans Laborde-Jourdàa, William Laboury, Xavier Lacaille, Stéphanie Lansaque, Marie Larrivé, Sébastien Laudenbach, Philippe Le Guay, Christophe Le Masne, Claude Le Pape, Morgane Le Péchon, Vincent Le Port, Dwayne LeBlanc (USA), Blandine Lenoir, Fabián León López (Mexico), Valérie Leroy, Fanny Liatard, Franco Lolli (Colombia), Julie Lopes Curval, Marie Losier, Ivete Lucas (USA), Clémence Madeleine-Perdrillat, Damien Manivel, Foued Mansour, Isabella Margara (Greece), Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka, Carine May, Jamil McGinnis (USA), Florence Miailhe, Cécile Mille, Dominik Moll, Laetitia de Montalembert, Yolande Moreau, Bill Morrison (USA), Morad Mostafa (Egypt), Azadeh Moussavi (Finland), Adrian Moyse Dullin, George-Alex Nagle (Australia), Thanasis Neofotistos (Greece), Lorna Nickson Brown (United Kingdom), Bertil Nilsson (United Kingdom), Bruno Nuytten, Jamie O’Rourke (Ireland), Aurélie Oliveira Pernet, Gül Önel, Lois Patiño (Espagne), Agnès Patron, Héloïse Pelloquet, Pauline Pénichout, Jean-Gabriel Périot, Camille Pernin, Regina Pessoa (Portugal), Baptiste Petit-Gats, Nicolas Philibert, Yves Piat, Bruno Podalydès, Gilles Porte, Martin Provost, Yassine Qnia, Joanna Quinn (Wales), Joanne Rakotoarisoa, Julien Rambaldi, Aude Léa Rapin, Aurélie Reinhorn, Vincent René-Lortie (Canada, Quebec), Mathias Rifkiss, François Robic, Marc James Roels (Belgium), Hélène Rosselet-Ruiz, Frédéric Rosset, Christian Rouaud, Victor Saint-Macary, Lyes Salem, Matthieu Salmon, Pierre Salvadori, Laen Sanches, Olivier Sarrazin, Manuel Schapira, Carlos Segundo (Brésil), Claire Simon, Olivier Smolders (Belgiqum), Daniel Soares (Portugal), Thomas Soulignac, Gabrielle Stemmer, Lucie Szechter, Manon Tacconi, Abbas Taheri (Iran), Hugo P. Thomas, Arthur Thomas-Pavlowsky, Jérémy Trouilh, Lawrence Valin, Duván Duque vargas (Colombia), Marie Vermillard, Sandrine Veysset, Vladilen Vierny, Denis Villeneuve (Canada, Quebec), Pierre Vinour, François Vogel, Onur Yagiz, Mathieu Z’Graggen, Hakim Zouhani.
Lionel Abelanski, Anne-Sophie Bailly, Agathe Bonitzer, Damien Bonnard, Armande Boulanger, Didier Bourdon, Anne Bourgeois, Franc Bruneau, Émilie Cazenave, Clémentine Célarié, Allison Chassagne, Sébastien Chassagne, Jean-Philippe Daguerre, Louis-Do De Lencquesaing, Lucile Delzenne, Quentin Dolmaire, Léa Drucker, Victoire Du Bois, Virginie Efira, Aude Forget, José Garcia, Christine Gautier, Sofia Georgovassili (Greece), Aude Gogny-Goubert, Alban Guyon, Judith Henry, Pauline Lorillard, François Morel, Lola Naymark, Emmanuel Noblet, Alysson Paradis, Vimala Pons, Qophie Quinton, Isis Ravel, Bernabé Rico (Spain), Andrea Romano, Patrick Socco, Bruno Solo, Zinedine Soualem, Laetitia Spigarelli, Alexandre Steiger, Anaïs Tellenne, Jean-Benoît Ugeux (Belgium), Adriano Valerio (Italy), Karin Viard.
Olivier Berlemont (Origine Films), Lorenzo Bianchi (Société Acéphale), Mathieu Bompoint (Mezzanine Films), Benjamin Bonnet (Mood Films), Catherine Bozorgan (Manchester Films), Emmanuel Chaumet (Ecce Films), Mathilde Delaunay (Barberousse Films), Arnaud Demuynck (Les Films du Nord), Sarah Derny & Frédéric Dubreuil (Envie de Tempête Productions), Guillaume Dreyfus (Tripode Productions), Ron Dyens (Sacrebleu productions, Bertrand Faivre (Le Bureau), Luce Grosjean & Annabel Sebag (Miyu Distribution),Wouter Jansen (Square Eyes, Austria), Edwina Liard & Nidia Santiago (Ikki Films), Lionel Massol, Pauline Seigland & Jules Reinartz (Films Grand Huit), Martin Mauvoisin (Dobro Films), Marc Missonnier (Moana Films), Salaud Morrisset, Sylvie Pialat, Marine Schappely, Nicolas Schmerkin (Autour de Minuit), Hannah Taïeb (Les Quatre Cents Films), David Tuil (Or Films), Ben Vandendaele (Radiator IP Sales, Belgium), Tam Dan Vu & Pierre Brouillette-Hamelin (Travelling, Canada, Quebec), Fanny Yvonnet (Trois Brigands Productions), Iliana Zakopoulou (Greece).
Festivals, industry events & networks
L’Agence du court métrage(French Short Film Agency), Carrefour des Festivals , Short Film Conference, the SPI (syndicat des producteurs et productrices indépendants)
Bogoshorts Festival (Colombia), Clémence Bragard (programmer), Jackie Buet (Festival du film de femmes de Créteil), Zita Carvalhosa & Beth Sá Freire (ISFF of São Paulo (Brazil)), Sébastien De Fonséca (Côté court), Niv Fux (Tport platform (Israel)), Ailton Franco Junior (Festival Curta Cinema (Brazil)), Jean Hamel (INIS (Canada, Quebec)), Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck (Berlinale Shorts (Germany)), Saad Hendawy (Egypt), Pascal Hologne (Brussels International Short Film festival (Belgium)), Sanne Jehoul & Matt Lloyd (Glasgow Short Film Festival (Scotland)), Lotte Kircher (programmer (Switzerland)), Margaux Lacoste (Europe Creative MEDIA), Nicolas Lasnibat (La Fémis), Antoine Leclerc (Itinérances Festival), Anne Luthaud (GREC, groupe de recherches et d’essais cinématographiques), Pablo Maria Diaz (Semana del Audiovisual Contemporaneo (Spain)), Julie Marnay (European Short Pitch), Sophie Masson (SACD), Emilia Mazik (programmer), Christoffer Ode & Sigrid Hadenius-Ebner (ISFF of Uppsala (Sweden)), Émilie Poirier (festival du Nouveau Cinéma), Marie-Elaine Riou (Saguenay Cinema Office & ex-director of the Regard Festival (Canada, Quebec)), Ren Scateni (Encounters Film Festival (United Kingdom)), Annette Scholz (Festival Alciné (Spain)), Toril Simonsen (Novegian Film Institute (Norway)), Alexander Stein (Interfilm Berlin (Germany)), Le Très court festival, Enrico Vannucci (Talent & Short Film Market (Italy)), Sylvain Vaucher (Swiss Films (Switzerland)), Laurence Vivarelli (Festival Tous Courts), Sabine Zipci (AFCA, association française du cinéma d’animation).
Arte, CANAL+, France Télévisions, UniversCiné.
Other industry delegates
Gilles Alonzo (composer), Pierre-Emmanuel Barré (comedian), Deborah Bombard-Golicki (composer), Laurence Boyce (journalist & programmer), Clémence Bragard (programmer), David Cabannes (director of photography), Amaury Chabauty (composer), Élise Chassaing (journalist), Anna Ciennik (script advisor), Simon Didierlaurent (co-director SOS Homophobie Auvergne), Jean-Louis Fabiani (sociologist), Pascale Faure (cinema advisor for L’Œil en plus), Robin Faury (engineer Adobe), Judith Gruber-Stitzer (composer (USA)), Benoît Hamon (politician), Thierry Jousse (film critic), Christophe Kantcheff (editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Politis), Jacques Kermabon (ex editor-in-chief of Bref), Jocelyn Lermusieaux (journalist at L’Équipe), Sylvie Lindeperg (historian), David Lowe (actor (United Kingdom)), Matteu Maestracci (culture department journalist at France Info), Elli Mastorou (film journalist (Belgium)), John McGrath (scriptwriter (ireland)), Gaëlle Nohant (writer), Julia Mingo (director of photography), Pierre Oberkampf (composer), Frédéric D. Oberland (musician (Oiseaux-Tempête)), Christine Ott (musician, composer), Tangui Perron (historian), Aymerick Pilarski (director of photography), Jérôme Prieur (writer and director), Simon Riaux (journalist and film critic), Yuko Shimizu (illustrator (USA)), Christophe Siébert (writer), Léo Soesanto (film critic and programmer), Teho Teardo (musician et composer (Italy)), François Theurel (filmmaker), Charles Tesson (film critic), Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (politician), Pierre Zéni (journalist).