The Paris International Film Festival 2023: Short Films to Discover

The Paris International Film Festival (PIFF) returns in 2023 to celebrate its 5th year. This year’s edition will have an in person component after several years of online only festivals due to the various COVID-19 restrictions.

The film festival is occurring 8 – 15 February 2023 at the independent Champo cinema in the Latin Quarter in Paris. The film festival’s programme includes feature and short independent films as well as events for industry professionals such as a production forum. So, there is plenty for film enthusiasts and industry professionals alike. Furthermore, there has been the opportunity for some of the previous festival winners to screen their films in the cinema in front of an audience this time.

So far, we have attended Day 3 which included the festival’s short film programme and were extremely impressed by the range and quality of the films. We will discuss these films briefly so that you can seek these out within other festivals occurring later in the year.

The short films featured within a Gaze on Parenting section and therefore had familial relationships as a common theme. The submissions included debut film makers amongst those with Academy Award winning crews.

The Paris International Film Festival poster
The Paris International Film Festival Poster

Sissy had its French premiere at the festival. It is a film set in Italy concerning a father-son relationship as they both grapple with grief in their individual ways. Somehow, the manifestations of the past help them to realise that a reconciliation is not too far away. It is a very impressive film with a captivating role for the young actress who graces the screen and will bring a tear to the eyes.

Le Ballon Bleu is inspired by the renowned film, The Red Balloon. It follows a young orphan girl on a day out in Paris when she decides to follow a blue balloon. It is a romantic journey through Paris seen through the eyes of a child with many recognisable Parisian sights. Its sepia hued colour palette adds to its charm.

Bienvenidos a Los Angeles is an immersive insight in to the life of migrants on a car sharing journey as they pursue the American Dream. It is fraught with tension as the stakes are high in terms of being able to remain in the country without the risk of deportation. The connection between families is also highlighted.

A Mind Cannot Touch explores the nuances of the grieving process and a difficult choice that a mother faces. If there is the possibility that technology could literally help to recreate the memories of a relative that has passed, would you use it? It is a choice facing the protagonist and it is interesting to see the dynamics, the question of ethics and the impact on all concerned.

Sand Mama covers that notion of trying to find that individual viewpoint for yourself, as a woman outside of your family unit. The film uses light beautifully within beach scenes creating both playful moments and moments of longing whilst the waves crash poetically by the sea.

Irreverence is an amusing tale of an estranged mother and daughter where the mother is provided with the opportunity to babysit. However, the mother and daughter have opposing views regarding life and indeed baptism for the child. It is fascinating to watch an older parent behaving badly in a tale filled with warmth but also dread at moments.

Psychoz is a riveting film looking at the paranoia that one reckless night fuels regarding sexual health. The use of body horror and jump scares ramps up the tension to create that fear we may all have when there are random encounters with unknown people.

The Paris International Film Festival continues with feature films such as Little Jar, The Nocturne and The Uncanny. There will also be a screening of The Academy Award nominated Take and Run.
The festival will conclude on 15th February with the prize awards, an event with Vincent Marabel and a production workshop.

Tickets can be purchased at the Paris International Film Festival’s website here.

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Little Jar is a heartfelt feature debut demonstrating the casual…
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