NEWS and EVENTS
Lakenham first school now has a link with Ecole Bachelet in Rouen and the children of Ecole Bachelet sent a box of Christmas crackers to Lakenham school.
13 – 18 November – This is England, festival of short films
The sixth festival of British short films, This is England, was the culmination of months of preparation by a team of Rouen Norwich Club organisers and was a huge success. Thirty shortlisted films from some 1000 received were shown to students and members of the public. The jury, usually drawn from the French film industry, were this year all British: Norwich-based Guy Myhill, director of The Goob, Steve Bell, The Guardian's political cartoonist, and film producer Millie Marsh. The films showed a wealth of talent and imagination and ranged from documentaries to animation and fiction, some funny, some thought-provoking, some touching. Some 5500 school students from the collège and lycée age groups attended to see a selection and each group chose their winning film. Some film-makers were present and available for Q&As after the showings. At the end of the week, the awards were announced: The Rouen Norwich Club chose Wednesday with Goddard (Nicholas Ménard), an amusing animation about a personal quest for spiritual enlightenment. The Collège students chose Sweet Maddie Stone (Brady Hood) about a 15-year-old girl who rules the school playground. The Lycée students also chose a film with a social theme: Kin, (Helena Middleton) about a young man who seeks custody of his younger brother. The jury chose three films: Mordechai (Benjamin Bee), about an orthodox Jew who turns up to his father's funeral in a flashy shirt, having lost his case on the way, and finds that his family can't accept that. Tough (Jennifer Zheng) an animation of a conversation between a Chinese mother and daughter about identity and belonging, and The Party (Andrea Harkin), set in Belfast in 1972, when young people meet up with a fugitive friend for drinking and dancing but things end up going terribly wrong. You may find all or some of these films on Vimeo.
Also in Rouen was an exhibition in the city hall of 51 of Steve Bell's cartoons, many based on famous paintings and figuring British politicians and sometimes French presidents. An explanation of the cartoon with a photograph of the original painting where relevant was shown to help visitors who didn't recognise the characters. Steve also talked about his work one evening in Rouen's largest bookshop, L'Armitière.
All in all it was a marvellous week. The festival was very well organised and the atmosphere very friendly and welcoming. Thanks to Christophe Thierry, Festival Director and President of the Rouen Norwich Club, and his team of assistants who voluntarily took on everything from programming to seeking sponsorships, sub-titling, publicity and arranging accommodation. Dates for 2018:12 - 17th November! (Christine Wilson)
Lots of photos on the website of the Rouen-Norwich-Club and details of the festival at www.thisisengland-festival.com/ Thanks to Jean-François Commessie for the photo of finalists, judges and organisers on stage.
Travelling to Rouen?
Isilines is a fantastic long-distance bus service around France and beyond and there is a direct bus from Rouen to London via the Shuttle. Recommended by Serge Van Den Broucke of the Rouen-Norwich-Club who left Rouen at 13.30 and arrived London Victoria at 18.00, https://www.isilines.com/