14 September 2017 2:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This Frederick Wiseman-style vérité documentary sits in on the judging process as the prestigious La Fémis winnows down its applicants

Emphatically indebted to the hardcore vérité aesthetic of Frederick Wiseman, with no voiceover to explain anything or any captions to elucidate who’s who, this French documentary tracks the long process by which la Fémis, France’s most prestigious film school, winnows down thousands of applicants to just a lucky few.

As the head of the institute’s directing programme, director Claire Simon (Gare du Nord) has an insider’s understanding of the process but films the endless debates between examiners with a cool detachment, seemingly taking no sides. Ultimately, this is much less about the applicants than about the teachers and industry professionals who give up their time to decide who is worthy of pursuing a career. It’s clear that they want to run it as meritocratically as possible, »

- Leslie Felperin

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Frederick Wiseman
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