Despite the presence of films such as Abderrahmane Sissako‘s Timbuktu, and Celine Sciamma’s Girlhood (Bande de Filles) – both films I would have loved to have seen but, sadly, missed – films from or about the diaspora were thin enough on the ground at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to warrant S&A’s absence from the festival.
However, should you ever find yourself in Cannes on any given year, on an unplanned, whirlwind, two day visit – unable to snag tickets to any official screenings to the big name films, or not feeling particularly keen on any of the films that are screening while you’re there – a good place to head to for assured diverse film viewing from around the world is the Short Film Corner.
The Short Film Corner offers new and/or unknown independent filmmakers the chance to promote their work, network with other filmmakers and industry players, as well as gain access to most of what official festival accreditation has to offer. With 2,178 short films registered this year, representing 98 countries, competition is fierce and the standards are generally high (not every submitted film is accepted).
If you happened to find yourself at the Short Film Corner this year, one of the films you would have been able to include in your private viewing schedule is Wally Fall’s Parachute Doré (Golden Parachute) (France, 2014).
In his first narrative fiction film, Fall humorously exploits stereotypes to turn the trope of the poor African/black immigrant to Europe on its head. Though judiciously funny in parts, Parachute Doré portrays the types of experiences some black immigrants to France face, looking at the interchangeable, sometimes invisible and often exploitable circumstances of their presence on the periphery of French society, even as they contribute disproportionately to its socio-economic fabric.
The synopsis reads: When she finds out Mirna (Anyés Noel), her home helper, is having visa trouble, Mrs Hamadi (Malika Kadri) clashes with a world she never knew about. But Mirna doesn’t want to fight anymore to stay and the retired woman must help her to go back standing on her feet. It’s time for Mirna’s ex-boss to pay his debts as well.
After dropping out of university in France, Fall moved to London to improve his English. In London he took evening classes in video editing, camera work and video production and, after seven years, returned to Paris, where he honed his filmmaking skills by directing and/or editing low budget music videos, TV programs, documentaries, and corporate films. While he continues his endeavours to promote Parachute Doré on the festival circuit, he is also working on his first documentary, shot in Senegal, which questions so called cross-cultural identity through his own experience (he is of Senegalese and Martinique descent).
We hope to see more from Mr Fall soon. In the meantime, below is the trailer for Parachute Doré.