In the fly-on-the-wall documentary The Graduation (Le Concours), director Claire Simon focuses her camera on the five-month-long admissions process of France's most famous filmmaking academy: La Femis - a state-run, extremely selective and generously funded institution. The lengthy examinations that thousands of hopefuls undergo to be among the 40 chosen students each year are chronicled. Ultimately revealing more about those who do the choosing than the applicants themselves, Simon was granted access to behind-closed-doors discussions that selectors engage in when evaluating contenders.
Some of those debates can be intriguing here, such as when experienced directors sit around and discuss whether aspiring directors have what it takes to make great films (the verdict: who knows?).
Another sequence, taking place during the "grand oral" sessions and involving an overzealous bartender from the provinces who displeases most of the jury, underlines how La Femis could perhaps be accused of promoting a certain socio-cultural order that is predominantly white, middle-to-upper class and well schooled in saying exactly what jurors want to hear.
- The Hollywood Reporter, Venice Film Festival Review
Duration: 2 hrs
World Premiere: 8 February 2017 (France)
Director: Claire Simon
Language: French with English subtitles and Thai subtitles
In partnership with: Thailand Documentary Club
Cost: Free for FCCT members, 150 baht for FCCT non-members, optional buffet: 250 baht
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