Organized by the TAP – the Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers – the Poitiers Film Festival invites young international talents, industry professionals, and the general public to come together around the festival’s specificity: film school productions.
For the general public, this is the opportunity to discover the latest in cinematography, to view the first films of young filmmakers who capture the world around them, and to share reactions, questions, and critiques with these artists during meetings and debates.
For industry professionals, this is a place to meet and to share experiences; a place where festivals scout films for future lineups and where producers identify promising young filmmakers and exciting new projects.
For young talents, this is a place to interact with the general public and a launch pad for their careers. Through its professional programs, the Poitiers Film Festival facilitates both the introduction of authors and filmmakers into professional networks and the development of their film projects.
Over the period of one week, festivalgoers enjoy more than 130 films and numerous events. The festival is framed around 4 axes:
- The International Selection which presents 10 programs of film school shorts and 6 features by film students or filmmakers that were discovered in a Selection from a previous edition of the festival. Several prizes are awarded by juries made up of professionals, the general public, donors, and partners.
- A focus which showcases the film production of a certain country by proposing a panorama of its contemporary films, shorts from its film schools, and sessions with confirmed and emerging filmmakers.
- A thematic cycle that confronts, through screenings and dialogues, the works and views of contemporary filmmakers on a chosen subject.
- Special screenings for a broad audience: the So French! soirée which is dedicated to French schools; the “Courts d’ici” program; preview showings with the film teams; “Piou-Piou” and “Ciné-doudou” screenings for a younger audience, etc.
Through its two launch-pad programs, the Poitiers Film Festival is committed to accompanying budding filmmakers – both from international film schools and regional talents who have not yet had access to training – as they join the professional scene.
- “Jump In” provides recent film school graduates with an intermediate stepping stone to strengthen their first feature project before applying to programs or for international funding or before approaching producers. This program includes targeted training with experienced professionals to identify specific needs and a development strategy and writing residency opportunities.
- “Talents en Court”: Along with its partners the CNC and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the Poitiers Film Festival works alongside self-taught authors from the region in developing their short film projects and building their professional network over the course of five days of workshops and meetings.
Pitching sessions in which participants from both programs present their projects are also organized with an audience of carefully selected professionals.
Visual image education
The festival aims to develop visual image education with the general public and in particular, with young viewers from schools, middle schools, and high schools. Beforehand, during, and afterward, the festival presents the works, facilitates comprehension, enables exchanges with the filmmakers, and generally promotes the film craft.
Concretely, this initiative takes the form of:
- workshops about the cinematographic language in academic institutions,
- special screenings followed by a question and answer session with the authors of the works,
- pedagogical tools related to the films for teachers,
- practical workshops to learn more about creating images,
- master classes with professionals to learn about careers in cinema,
- screenings of shorts throughout the entire Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
- 1977 : The Festival, initially dedicated to graduation films, was created in Tours by Henri Langlois, founder of the French Cinémathèque, who died a few weeks before the opening of the first edition. In his honor, the Festival was named after him.
- 1990: The Rencontres Internationales Henri Langlois moved to Poitiers.
- 2000: initially dedicated to capstone films, the festival becomes the International Film School Festival.
- 2004: the management of the festival is taken over by Poitiers’ TAP theater.
- 2014: the festival’s format changes and becomes the Poitiers Film Festival.
- 2017: the professional initiative Jump In to accompany young filmmakers is added to the festival’s artistic program.