Claire Simon

The Graduation

Claire Simon
Screening time  
01.03. / Thursday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 3  
Director captures the selection process for students at the famous Parisian film school La Fémis.

Director captures the selection process for students at the famous Parisian film school La Fémis, showing us how successful candidates get to follow in the footsteps of such luminaries as Louis Malle, François Ozon and Alain Resnais, all of whom attended this prestigious institution. At the start of the exhaustive procedure, hundreds of students gather together in a gigantic auditorium for a three-hour writing session. Ultimately, after three rounds, just a tiny fraction of applicants will be admitted to the school – the ruthless culling leads to heated exchanges among the many examiners, all of whom are experienced film professionals.


Claire Simon

Claire Simon is a prolific French director, writer, actress, director of photography and editor born in London in 1955. She divides her work between fiction and documentary with the same dedication, often blurring the lines between the two within the same film. Refusing to follow a classic cinema course, she made her first films on her own in the mid-1970s. Simon’s focus is without a doubt anthropocentric – for her, cinema is a way to examine reality closely and her work is often characterized as belonging to the cinéma-vérité tradition. She – always with the utmost respect – gives voice to those who need it, placing emphasis on stories about teenagers, women and immigrants. She makes films with a distinctive fluidity and delicacy; the various realities presented in her work are complex, authentic and textured, while this is achieved with the most straightforward and sincere of cinematic means.This prolific director has more than 15 films to her credit. Among her most notable films are La Police (1988), Les Patients (1990), Scènes de ménage (1991), At All Costs (1995), Récréations, A Foreign Body – her first feature film – both from 1997, her second feature film Ça brûle (2006), God’s Offices (2008), Romance – 800 Kilometers of Difference (2002), Mimi (2003), Gare du Nord (2013), Human Geography (2013), The Woods Dreams are Made of (2015), and The Graduation (2016).

General sponsor

Le Concours

2016, 90'

Directed by:
Claire Simon

Screenplay by:
Claire Simon

Claire Simon

Edited by:
Luc Forveille

Arnaud Dommerc

Produced by:

Festivals & Awards:

Venice Film Festival 2016 – Venezia Classici Award; True/False Film Fest 2017 – True Vision Award; IDFA 2016; BFI London Film Festival 2016; Play-Doc International Documentary Film Festival 2017