The Costa Rican filmmaker Valentina Maurel has won the First Prize of the Cinéfondation competition at the Cannes Film Festival—dedicated to student short films—with Paul est là / Paul Is Here. The First Prize award comes with a grant of €15,000 grant, and the winner is also guaranteed the presentation of his/her first feature film at the Cannes Film Festival.
"Paul is here. Like a step backwards, like a ghost knocking at the door. He is here, and his annoying presence will disrupt Jeanne's everyday life." reads the official synopsis of the short made by Maurel at the Institut Supérieur des Arts in Belgium.
This year's Cinéfondation selection consisted of 16 student films, chosen out of 2,600 entries coming from 626 film schools around the world, and the jury was composed by Cristian Mungiu, Clotilde Hesme, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Barry Jenkins and Eric Khoo.