Urban Films Festival Comes to Urban Art Fair in Paris this April!

April 5, 2018

Urban Art Fair and Urban Films Festival? Sounds like a match made in heaven.

For their audio-visual line-up, Europe’s most famous street art fair teams up with one of the most acclaimed festival dedicated to the urban culture in the country, and beyond.

Urban Films Festival, a major reference for all who wish to discover films linked to everything urban, prepared an exciting program for this year’s UAF at Le Carreau du Temple in Paris, between April 13 and 14.

Following the 2017 selection prepared by Christian Omodeo, UAF and UFF will introduce us to the world of graffiti and street art as seen through the lens of filmmakers who were able to submit their works through an open call for artists.

The result?

A curated set of projections treating topics from graffiti in Beirut and Bangkok to a meeting with Speedy Graphito, among others.

To crown the event, there will also be an Award ceremony in presence of the UFF jury. We took the opportunity to talk to one of its members, François Gautret, about what the visitors of the 2018 Urban Art Fair can expect to see!

Left Marthe One's Work by Benjamin Vallet Right Juste de passage by Mabroise Prince
Left: Marthe One's Work by Benjamin Vallet / Right: Juste de passage by Ambroise Prince

Urban Art Fair x Urban Films Festival 2018

Widewalls: Let’s introduce the Urban Films Festival to our readers. When was it founded and how was it conceived?

François Gautret: Initiated by RStyle (Hayette and myself) in 2005, and supported by the Mission Cinema of the City of Paris, the Urban Films Festival is the first French film festival devoted to the city, the practices and the lifestyles that emanate from it.

We present true, sombre, funny stories and fictions, with a multitude of glances posed on the common denominator that is their setting: the street.

Paris, Rio, Montreal, Noumea, Ouagadougou and many more... For more than 13 years, the Urban Films Festival has been the reference festival in the discovery of films related to the city in the broad sense: history, dance, movements, communities, street culture, sports, all aspects of the city and urban cultures are represented.

The Urban Films Festival is an annual event in Paris with qualifications in France and on the international level as well, throughout the whole year.

[It is a ] place for urban cultures!

In the meantime, far from the stereotypes usually associated with urban cultures, the Urban Films Festival is interested in the place they occupy today in the cinematographic field and seeks to encourage the emergence of new talents.

Beyond exchange, knowledge, practices and techniques are brought together and urban cultures are networked, thus providing a space for this rich and prolific artistic movement.

Widewalls: Because the street is the common denominator of the films, it was only natural that urban art becomes one of their themes as well. What are your thoughts on the movement?

François Gautret: Cities around the world are expressing a variety of things that seem interesting and [it was] important for us to make into a film festival to better understand the codes of urban life, on the artistic level but also on a social one.

Widewalls: This will be the first UFF x UAF collaboration. What are your expectations?

François Gautret: The idea of collaboration was born from a meeting with Christian Omodeo (Le Grand Jeu) which had programmed feature films on the theme of graffiti last year.

It seemed interesting to zoom in on the short-distance street art received from several countries in 4 categories: documentaries, fiction, animation and performance.

From the Bangkok Street Art documentary by Alisa Phommahaxay
From the Bangkok Street Art documentary by Alisa Phommahaxay

The Program

Widewalls: There are 15 short films in competition this year. Can you tell us something about the selection process?

François Gautret: There was a call for films widely distributed on social networks. In a very short time, we received a significant number of short films, which went first to a selection committee and then to a jury.

Widewalls: Who is in the jury?

François Gautret: The jury is composed of UFF co-founder Hayette Gautret, Urban Art Fair Founder Yannick Boesso, a pioneer of graffiti in Paris JayOne from the BBC, producer of Tracks Elisabeth Rivière, Tracks social media manager Vy Doan and the Tracks editor in chief David Combe.

Widewalls: Are there any highlights of the program that you’d like to name?

François Gautret: Some artists added video graphics on works that were initially static on the walls, for instance.

[There are also] documentaries, which allow us to better understand and meet artists.

The movies about vandalism take us into a graphic aesthetic universe far from galleries but equally interesting.

Widewalls: What’s next for UFF?

François Gautret: The next stages of the festival will take place all over the world (Canada, Greece, Ukraine, Africa, Brazil, Lebanon…) and the international final at the heart of Paris (Canopée des Halles) on October 2018.

Make sure you check out the full program here!

All images courtesy UFF.