I hadn't planned on going. My experience in Austin with festivals had led me to believe they would all be over crowed, wallet gouging, stress inducing spectacles (that being said, I actually do love most Austin festivals (except SXSW). On Friday we were able to see the second part of the opening showing. They didn't really stick to one theme or style, which I liked a lot, though by far my favorite was a Swedish animated short, narrated by people talking about losing their virginity. It was interesting, humorous and touching and excellently crafted.
The next morning I headed out early (9:30am) to get in a set before lunch (they are set up so that basically you can go to shows at odd or even hours. Because of a set I wanted to see later in the day, I wanted to get out early). The first set included a short called "Helmut" which was about a mother and daughter on vacation visiting castles and was hilarious. I absolutely loved it. The others were good, but that was a standout.
After some lunch I headed back for films that included selections from the Lausanne Film School in Switzerland. I was surprised that many of them were old films, and I didn't particularly care for any of them. However, after that I reentered the room for a selection of African films which I was particularly excited about.
From the African films, there were films from Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Mauritius. I really loved the one from Senegal which was a documentary about the skin lightening products women use to look whiter (which is so sad as so many Senegalese have such beautiful dark ebony skin) The different products end up causing cancers and other medical problems. The film was really well done, but you could definitely see a lack of money in the film. The resolution wasn't nearly as clear and had a grainy look to it in comparison with others.
I really loved "Cogitations" which was done as narrated interviews animated through color pencil line drawings. Really well done, and my over all favorite.
I missed the last film in the set and I had to run to the train station to catch the last train back to Montlucon that night, though the others stayed in town and had a bit of party.