"Paul est là" ("Paul is here") wins the Cinéfondation 1st prize08/06/2017

Competing among 16 school films presented in the Cinéfondation selection at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, Paul est là, a short film directed by Valentina Maurel (INSAS) at the end of her studies won the first prize.

This Friday 26 May, the Cinéfondation jury, chaired by the Romanian director Cristian Mungiu and comprising actress Clotilde Hesme (France), director and screenwriter Barry Jenkins (United States), director, screenwriter and producer Eric Khoo (Singapore) and director, screenwriter and producer Athina Rachel Tsangari (United States), awarded the first prize to the Belgian film Paul est là by Valentina Maurel.

The Cinéfondation First Prize awards a sum of €15,000. It also guarantees that the winner’s first full-length feature will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

Paul est là is by the film workshop of INSAS, the prestigious Brussels art school. It was chosen among 2,600 short films from across the globe.

An end-of-studies film by young director Valentina Maurel, Paul est là tells the story of a step back in time, like an unwanted ghost ringing the doorbell. Paul is here, and his disturbing presence will disrupt Jeanne’s life again. Valentina Maurel is French-Costa Rican and left Costa Rica to study film in France. After a short spell at university in Paris, she moved to Brussels to follow a more technical course at the Haute Ecole Libre de Bruxelles (formerly INRACI) and then obtained a masters in directing from INSAS. Paul est là was produced by the INSAS Film Workshop with support from the Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles.

The Cinéfondation was founded in 1998 by Gilles Jacob, under the auspices of the Cannes Film Festival, to search for new talent. Its activities are organised around the Selection, the Residence and the Atelier.  The Selection is focused around fifteen to twenty short and medium-length films presented by film schools from all countries.

Christine Zeller

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