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Activities - 14/05/2012


Europa Cinemas Label / Directors' Fortnight: interview with Sarah Beaufol



On 25 May a jury comprising four network exhibitors will award the Europa Cinemas Label to the best European film screened during Directors' Fortnight in Cannes. Sarah Beaufol is one of these exhibitors. Sarah, as part of the team at Le Méliès cinema in Pau, is director of the (young) Pau International Film Festival, which will take place for the third time in December.   


1 – How would you describe Le Méliès cinema in Pau in just a few words?

Le Méliès is a two-screen arthouse film theatre famed for its dynamic approach (137,000 admissions in 2011). With many themed events (such as African Continent, Rock this Town, Gay and Lesbian days) and frequent discussion evenings, it is well known for its work assisting and supporting films, the wealth of its debates, its efforts to become accessible to marginalised areas of the population and its success among schoolchildren and young audiences.

2 – What were the origins of the Pau International Film Festival? How do you see it developing? 

It was created in 2010 on the initiative of the 'Ciné, ma passion' association, which wanted to bring a great international cinematic event to Pau. The Festival stands out for its strong and committed film choices and competitive screenings of feature films which at that point have no distributor. It is underpinned by two main ideas: cinematic discovery, acting as a forum revealing works to the public and to critics, and transmission and exchange, through meetings and master classes with the professionals present.

The first two Festivals were attended by personalities such as Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marco Bellocchio, Claudia Cardinale and Alex Beaupain. The third Festival will take place in December 2012. Its objectives are to maintain interest among professionals through a quality programme schedule and to reach an ever increasing audience. This year, for the first time, a training workshop for directors and producers will be put in place in partnership with Fipa, International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes, and the San Sebastián Film Festival.

3 – How does it fit in with the film theatre’s activities and, more generally, with the cultural life of the town?

In a way the Festival is the pinnacle of the activities at Le Méliès film theatre, its programme schedule echoing the work carried out there throughout the year. The film theatre team provides support during the Festival in terms of organisation, screenings and welcoming guests. The Festival is given strong support by the regional partnership of councils, the department and the region, and is now considered a significant cultural part of Pau life and an essential meeting point for filmlovers.

4 – What is your taste in film? What do you hope for from Directors' Fortnight 2012? 

I have eclectic tastes, from pure arthouse to comedy and genre films such as horror and thrillers. What is essential for me is to be surprised, moved, touched, gripped. I expect as much from purely cinematic aspects - the image, the editing, the lighting - as from emotional aspects – the actors, the screenplay.

From the selection at Directors' Fortnight 2012 I expect revelatory screenings and audacity: new talents, innovation and risk-taking. I hope to leave Directors' Fortnight impressed and enthusiastic, affected by a major discovery as I was last year by Ruben Östlund’s PLAY.  

5 – What are your favourites among the Europa Cinemas Label winners? 

Two films which won the Label at the Fortnight, CONTROL by Anton Corbijn and THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT by Xavier Beauvois, as well as NORTH by Rune Denstad Langlo and THE LAST DAYS OF EMMA BLANK by Alex van Warmerdam.


Alongside Sarah, this year's Label jury comprises Paula Astorga (Cineteca Nacional de Mexico), Erik Hamre (Gentofte Kino, Denmark) and Francesc Villalonga (Cinema Truffaut in Girona, Spain). 





Jean-Baptiste Selliez, May 2012

Pictures: The team of Le Méliès (Sarah Beaufol is at the centre) and PLAY