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With ‘The Graduation’ the director will delve into the daily life of the Parisian cinema school, la Fémis, where a specific Republican ideal of excellence is practiced and entry into which can be summed up as follows: "everyone’s equal, but only the best get in…"

Through the admission process, the hard work all year and the graduation exams, ‘The Graduation’ will establish a portrait of our relationship to excellence in the Art world and of one of the most prestigious art school in France. A place of culture where generations intermingle.

Claire Simon Biography:

Born in London in 1955, Caire Simon is a French scriptwriter, actress, cinematographer,editor and director. As a filmmaker she first directs independent shorts. Her best remembered films of the period are "La police" (1988) and "Scènes de ménage" in 1991, starring Miou-Miou. She then discovers the practice of 'direct cinema' with the Ateliers Varan and makes several documentaries such as "Les patients" (1989), Coûte que coûte (1995) and Récréations (1998), which garner multiple awards. Her first fiction feature length movie, Sinon, oui (1997), the story of a woman who pretends to be pregnant and kidnaps a child, is presented at the Cannes Film Festival Directors'Fortnight in 1997. Her next film, made for TV, Ça, c'est vraiment toi (2000), an original work, half-documentary, half-fiction, filmed within the walls of the European Parliament, is awarded the great prize at the Belfort Film Festival. After an experience in the theater, Claire Simon returns to documentary with 800 km de différence - Romance (2002) and Mimi (2003), presented at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2003. Her second fiction film, Ça brûle (2006) was also selected for the Directors'Fortnight in 2006. In 2008, Les bureaux de Dieu (2008) is another half-fiction half-documentary work, with famous actors and actresses as the Family Planning counselors and amateur actresses impersonating real-life women who had come for help or guidance. An atypical talent in the French movie world, Claire Simon has been trying for more than two decades to this day - ceaselessly and successfully - to capture the essence of reality.


2016: Venice Film Festival, Venice Classics
2016: BFI London Film Festival

Q&A with director Claire Simon

Presented in association with LIDF (London International Documentary Festival) and LIF (Lost on Frenchlation). A London/Paris collaboration.

Film Credits

Directors: Claire Simon

Production Company: Andolfi


Venice Film Festival, Venice Classics, BFI London Film Festival


Orginal Title: Le Concours

Subtitles: Yes



Length: 90 min

Colour: Yes

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The Graduation (Le Concours) Screening:

  • Thu15Jun

    at Cine Lumiere

    15 June 2017 8:00 am

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