By Will Sayre – Intern at ÉCU

On Avenue de Suffren here in Paris, you’ll find The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, an institute commonly known as “The UNESCO.” It hosts a wide array of cultural events, executive board meetings and conferences. Its motto: “Building peace in the minds of men and women.” On July 6, all was certainly peaceful as crowds of people filed into UNESCO’s grand theater for Les Nuits En Or, a prestigious short film festival that screened masterpieces from all over the world.

The three-day event was free to the public, and people of all ages were amongst the crowd, from young filmmakers and students to adults and professionals. All were very impressed. The selections were all award-winners, including at the Oscars, the Goyas and the Baftas. More than 24 countries were represented, making the event a very cultural experience. We saw films from virtually every category, including animation, experimental, comedy, and biopic. At certain points we cried, at certain points we laughed. Hard.

The experience was thus enriching and educational, proving that a good film can strike a chord with you and that you can then end up thinking about it for days, even weeks. I’m still recovering from some hard-hitting dramatic shorts presented at Les Nuits En Or. Films don’t have to run 90 minutes to impact us in some way. Directors can say all that they need to in a matter of minutes.

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