International Film Festival of Aubagne 2021 – Firsthand – By Paula Olaz

Yesterday, Saturday, June 5th, ended the 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Aubagne (Festival International du Film d’Aubagne – FIFA) in Aubagne (France), which started on Monday, May 31st (read more).


The composer Paula Olaz participated in the meetings and was part of the main concert of the festival, performing at the keyboards a piece composed specifically for that evening.


In this brief article, exclusively written for SoundTrackFest, she tells us about her experiences at the festival and leaves us a few photos to remember.


This adventure is over, and it has been wonderful to be in a festival that has film music at its core. The Festival International du Film d’Aubagne – FIFA is one of the biggest references for film music in France and has brought together the film music industry and I have had the opportunity to meet, among others, with Benoît Basirico, well-known film music critic, Renaud Barbier (composer), Florencia di Concilio (composer) and a great number of leading film music professionals in France.

International Film Festival of Aubagne 2021 - Masterclass


In addition to participating in the many meetings and conferences hosted by the festival, I have been fortunate to be part of the ‘3ème Personnage’ program, where meetings between composers and producers/directors take place. The festival receives several film projects that are going to be made soon; films that have already secured a budget and a production, and then the search for a composer begins. I was selected for two movies: one Belgian and one American. We were sent the script, the artistic intention of the film, and all the necessary information so that as a composer, I could create music for a month and we could talk about my proposal during this meeting. I think it is a very interesting initiative, and no doubt, many director/composer tandems come out of this program.

International Film Festival of Aubagne 2021 - Participants


On the other hand, and prior to the festival, in March I was fortunate to participate with other composers in a “master class” program with the composer Florencia di Concilio. For 10 days, a group of 8 composers met in Aubagne, and we were asked to compose music for 4 film scenes. Under the guidance of Florencia, we composed the music adapting to the instruments we already play, because in this case we were going to be the ones to play live at the festival the music we composed. The concert resulting from this master class was last night, Saturday, June 5th, where I performed with my colleagues my piece ‘Eaux Fortes’; a piece for piano, violin, cello, accordion, percussion, synthesizer, and electric guitar.

International Film Festival of Aubagne 2021 - Rehearsals

International Film Festival of Aubagne 2021 - Concert


The festival is a very interesting place where I was able to meet personally the association Troisième Autrice, an association that brings together female film music composers working in France, of which I am a member.


In summary, a highly recommended festival for composers who want to expand their horizons and add new opportunities to their professional careers.


Article and pictures by Paula Olaz