Camille Gerstenhaber


Festival des Antipodes in Saint-Tropez 2018


I spent one week of travelling through Australia and New Zealand in the confort of a movie theater in Saint-Tropez. The iconic seaside village held the annual festival des Antipodes from Oct. 8 to Oct. 14 bringing together cinema enthusiasts and professionals for its 20th anniversary. 

The festival started in 1999 to showcase feature films, shorts films and documentaries coming from the other side of the world. It has contributed to the spreading of Australian and New Zealand cinema in Europe.

For its 20th anniversary the festival had an exceptional guest of honor. The one and only Jane Campion opened the festival with her movie Sweetie followed by a masterclass. The festival recognized her fantastic career by presenting her with the Top of the Tasman Award.

Campion mentioned her next feature film project which will be an adaptation but didn’t expand more on her project. 

This year the festival had two juries, one for the short films competition and another for the feature film competition. 

The short film jury was composed of former jury members of the feature film competition. Elise McLeod presided the jury with Hervé Claude, Mathieu Delarive, Isabelle Doval and Natacha Régnier. 

The jury for the feature film competition included Greta Scacchi (president), CharlElie Couture, Ann Depétrini, Marie Kremer and Jean-Baptiste Shelmerdine. 

Being passionate about cinema I decided to volunteer for the festival. I mainly greeted the guests at each screenings, helped with the overall organization of the week and translated the filmmakers who were here to talk bout their film.

I had the chance to meet some incredible people including Ray Argall who directed the documentary Midnight Oil 1984, Axel Grigor director of Jill Bilcock: Dancing the invisible and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa director of Three Wise Cousins. 

The dedication of Bernard Bories, the festival’s president, and the team of volunteer made it a great event to be a part of. The small an intimate size of the festival was ideal to meet professionals of Australian and New Zealand cinema. 

The winners of the 20th anniversary of the festival des Antipodes are:

Best Movie Award: West of Sunshine by Jason Raftopoulos

Best Actors Award:  Samson Coulter and Ben Spence in Breath by Simon Baker

Best Actress Award: Arta Dobroshi in Stray by Dustin Feneley

Audience Award: Three Wise Cousins by Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa

Nicolas Baudin Award for best short film: The Eleven O’Clock by Derin Seale 

20th Anniversary Award for Best Antipodes's Short Film: The Virgin by Jack Yabsley

The Art of Sea