Three Worth-watching French Short Films

With people increasingly relying on streaming services, here are three French short films that are available for streaming via YouTube. These short films are from MyFrenchFilmFestival.com which was organized by the esteemed UNI France which is France’s national agency devoted to the cause of giving French cinema global exposure.

La virée à Paname (2013) is directed by Carine May and Hakim Zouhani, and stars Vessale Lezouache. Mourad (Lezouache), a student of drama as well as an aspiring writer who is around the age of twenty and is the center of attention throughout this short alongside the jewel of France, that is Paris. The film revolves around the bewildering mindscape of Mourad who is torn between multiple worlds as someone belonging to an ethnically diverse French background. He endeavors to become a good writer and for this reason, plans to attend a writing workshop but how his plan will turn out to be and how far-reaching will be the implications remain the most pivotal aspect of the film. Mourad is ambitious at best and at his age, there shall be no one handing him a penalty for being so. I felt like drawing parallels between his and my life primarily because of the numerous amounts of distractions I also tend to encounter regularly from my surroundings whenever I try to ponder and eventually get excited in my very own Eureka moments.

Chasse Royale (2016) is directed by Romane Gueret and Lise Akoka. The film stars Angélique Gernez in a leading role as Angélique. From the very beginning, her aura and appearance in the film give one a clear impression of the kind of savage soul she has in her possession. Though the film has its focus on the audition call she gets for a film, the fate of Angélique’s potential role in the film for which she auditions remains the focal point partially owing to the excitement and curiosity her siblings propagate about it. The film does its best to give a reality check to a naïve étranger on how France is not just about the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre but there are multiple diverse worlds present beyond these magnificent landmarks within the same country which deserve the due attention of an étranger and étrangère alike. The film duly plays its part in making the characters and the plot, as familiar as possible to a global audience, as much familiar to a youngster from some notorious banlieue of Paris as that to a shantytown dweller in Sao Paulo. The film dares to give us an insight into a France that is living and breathing at a normal pace beyond the popular French notions of grandeur and douceur de vivre with which all the best European and American literature has been afloat with over the centuries. Finally, there is a France, I, or some Indian or Nigerian friends of mine who can also somewhat relate to.

Judith Hôtel (2018) is directed by Charlotte Le Bon and stars Jean-Baptiste Sagory in the leading role of Rémi (an insomniac who yearns for a sleep that may last forever). The Judith Hotel claims to offer the solution to the ailment of Rémi but the hotel is not of an ordinary kind and is indeed very bizarre with guests and hosts who are unparalleled in their outlandishness. The hotel doesn’t look like the kind of place one would go for getting rid of insomnia as it seems that at such a place any such effort would backfire very savagely. But kudos to Rémi for daring to enter the premises of a strange world and for becoming one of its strange inhabitants. The film keeps you engaged till the end though with at least two different bouts of questions that do get raised in mind about the hotel and Rémi’s survival within it.