Foundations of the shortest day

21 December 2011. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Temps de lecture : 2 min  


The shortest day” was born of a dynamic film professionals, who proposed early 2011 to the President of CNC Eric Garandeau, the concept of a national festival of short films, based on the model of the “Music festival” (which is held on June 21, the longest day of the year). Eric Garandeau got into it, seeing the unifying dimension of it, both in the film industry, and greater public visibility of the short film, ie independent film. He highly invested himself in the project, and has assembled a team, beginning with Isabelle Massot as co-artistic director, first and then myself as co-artistic director, director of Cultural mediation and Technical Director. And finally Sonia Jossifort as general coordinator (we are all four on this photo of the launch party of the shortest day in 2011).

The dynamics of both Eric Garandeau and Isabelle Massot brought the project, and we have built it together. With the huge investment of Anne Cochard, director of Planning and Public CNC with her teams, Milvia Pandiani, communications director of the CNC and her team, as well as Nathalie Mercier, director of the Musée du Quai Branly, the “lucky star” of the day shorter.

The concept and the work

This is an open-plan participatory party, ie the films are visible in all kinds of places, and they are all kinds of movies : amateur, professional, experimental, animation, fiction, documentary, web ...

The goal is to enable everyone, whether individual, partnership, professional, to freely organize a festive initiative around short films, either to discover the films he loves and defends the public, show their own movies... Their initiatives are being legitimized by the “label” of the shortest day and enjoying its national communication.

My job as director of cultural mediation was necessary at that point, to bring everyone a very appropriate project to show movies, organize a real cinema show. Find ways, how-to’s necessary for everyone to take ownership of the project.

Eric Garandeau did continuously promote the project in all the places he visited, launched a thousand projects collaborations. Isabelle Massot has established the overall structure of the project, the most important partnerships, and the overall dynamics. Sonia Jossifort coordinated something huge. And teams of CNC, including communication service, focused design, manufacture and circulation of communication tools, which was huge.

The implementation

For this to work, we have created and established four main tools :

  • A communication and counseling available to all, whether or not the film industry at all.
  • Fees paid 250 films available (via the Short Film Agency) for broadcast on December 21, allowing everyone to organize a screening of quality movies.
  • A web platform for the registration of its manifestation in the national program and an indication of its film program.
  • A national communication.

The work of implementation was conducted by:

  • The team of the day shorter.
  • The services of CNC.
  • The Short Film Agency.

we had to accompany some of the participants, beyond our tools “operating instructions”, sometimes very carefully so that their film programs work, they are registered in the website, that their projections are technically successful, etc.. Hence the need to have a real technical direction to the team of the shortest day, function I provided, in addition to the co-artistic direction and management of cultural mediation.

The network

With an extensive post mailing during the summer of 2011, we reported a maximum cultural and social actors in France the existence of the shortest day in order to start building the network. One of the challenges is to offer something new, which would find its complementarity with existing initiatives for the promotion of short film, that arer many and valuable in French territory.

For these actions to be organized, efficient and sustainable, I implemented from the very beginning of the work a big shared database, large scalable technical project (agile methods), which helped manage our information.

The result

The first edition of “The shortest day” in 2011 was a great success, with more than 6000 sessions of short films organized that day, in cinemas, cafes, railway stations, courtyards, apartments ... in France and abroad.

The second edition of the Shortest Day in 2012 confirmed the success of this festival of short films with 2.5 million participants and 10,000 events.

“The shortest day” is the annual nationwide big event of short films in France on December 21 of each year, proposed by CNC (National Film Centre for the moving image), since 2011.I participated in the creation of this event in 2011, as co-artistic director, director of cultural mediation and technical director. Artistic co-director was Isabelle Massot and the general coordinator Sonia Jossifort.6000 projections were held on 21 December 2011, more than 10,000 screenings December 21, 2012 ... In 2012, due to time constraints I could not support the second year of the “shortest day” but I (...)