Our group consisted of Mark (BFI), Emma (film-maker/teacher), Victoria (mentor), Jack (teacher at St. Catherine’s) and myself. Sarah from the CLC was indisposed and couldn’t make it sadly. The trip was short and sweet, we got to Paris the evening of Friday 11 March and were back in London the following evening. Saturday 12th was spent at the Cinémathèque along with half the other European participants from Paris, Créteil, Rouen, Strasbourg, Portugal and Italy (the rest attended another mid-project assessment in Martigue in SW France).
Each participating school gave an introduction (some longer than others) to their students’ work, followed by a screening of clips and then a question and answer session. The whole session was audio-recorded. There was a great deal of variety in terms of content and levels of sophistication in the work, much of it from primary school aged children. The clips covered the 3 exercises associated with hiding and showing: 1. photos identifying a person with oblique references/semi-perceived or blurred parts of the body/reflections /things or objects connected with that person; 2. the passing of an object from A to B, moving through a space, using only close-ups; 3. the perception of something out the of frame and someone’s reaction to that in the frame.
The Lambeth CLC and St. Catherine’s clips were first up after lunch. Emma did a grand job in French giving an overview of how she had worked with her group, however, the main focus of attention seemed to be on the St. Catherine’s clip involving the girls wearing the masks (this link is to the unfinished shorter version that was not shown in Paris). Some of the audience took issue with its length and repetitive content, suggesting that it was not following the specific guidelines laid down in the ‘régles du jeu’. Jack countered by saying that this is what the girls wanted to produce, with very little intervention from him, and that they must be given some degree of satisfaction / ownership of their work. He did however suggest that there is room for some editing of the final version. An interesting and lively half-English, half-French discussion!