Vimeo's new festival initiative has officially expanded overseas, with the streaming platform taking its Vimeo Staff Pick Award to the Cannes Short Film Corner just a few weeks ago. Although it must've been difficult to highlight only one member in such a diverse group of filmmakers, Vimeo's curation team selected Listening Eyes by student filmmaker Julie Colly as their champion.

"We wanted to celebrate the amazing work being done by female filmmakers," a representative from the Vimeo curation team explained. "The diversity of voices, styles, and perspectives from around the world confirmed our belief that a new class of filmmakers are on the rise and will soon reshape the industry."

This student work from the Parisian film school La Femis explores a young girl’s burgeoning sexuality by using elements of thrillers and genre storytelling. With a fantastic lead performance by Lilith Grasmug, the film builds in intensity as her curiosity pulls her into unchartered territory. 

As a part of the prize package, Colly also received a premiere on Vimeo’s Staff Picks and 5,000 euro in cash. No Film School spoke briefly with the blossoming director after her win at Cannes as part of our ongoing series exploring the benefits of having a simultaneous online and festival release. She doesn't mince any words.

No Film School: What was your inspiration for creating this film?

Julie Colly:  I was inspired by several memories: remembrances of teenage years, sensations, and a childhood memory of a news item which happened in the countryside. 

NFS: Did you face any challenges when making this film?

Colly:  Working with the actors was my biggest challenge.

NFS: What is your best piece of advice to aspiring filmmakers?

Colly: Be precise and focused on what you are searching for your movie. 

NFS: What’s the value of displaying your film at a festival versus releasing online?

Colly: For me, it’s two completely different ways to show a movie. Both are important and interesting because you will perceive the public reactions differently. Online, it's an individual feeling, but at a festival it's a collective reaction.

NFS: What does the Staff Pick Award mean to you?

Colly: It’s an honor to have been selected for the Vimeo Staff Pick Award. The recognition it brings gives me confidence and even more energy to continue! 

Source: Vimeo