ASVOFF’s 15th Edition to Kick Off Under Sponsorship of French Culture Ministry

SPECIAL PRIZE: As it gets ready to kick off its 15th edition, it is annual fashion film festival A Shaded View on Fashion Film who gets the first gong: sponsorship from France’s ministry of culture.

Minister Rima Abdul Malak “gladly agreed to place [the festival] under sponsorship” given the cultural dimension at stake, the ministry said in a letter addressed to founder Diane Pernet and festival president Emmanuel Asmar shown to WWD.

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For the third year running, ASVOFF will run from Thursday to Sunday at Dover Street Market Paris, which takes the place of the now-closed 3537 cultural center.

Swedish singer-songwriter Jay-Jay Johanson is the president of the edition’s jury. Judging films and curated selections this year are a broad group that includes the likes of Sara Sozzani Maino, GQ head of editorial content Pierre M’Pelé, Canadian actress Gabrielle Lazzure, designer José Levy and the still-anonymous creative behind Instagram meme account Couturfu.

Some 115 fashion films will compete for the year’s 16 prizes, which range from the grand prize and Black representation in film to the “Climate Warrior” curation introduced this year, focusing on children 6 to 12 years old who express themselves around climate change.

As is tradition, trophies will be made by New York-based artist and designer Miguel Villalobos, save for the one awarded for the “Responsible Actions” section, created by Paris-based upcycling artist William Amor with the support of the Ateliers de Paris fund for creative professionals.

Beyond the competition, highlights of the edition will include the opening projection of “Invisible Beauty,” codirected by Bethann Hardison and Frédéric Tcheng, that chronicles Hardison’s evolution from a runway model to an agent, activist, mentor, diversity aficionado and more; a three-film tribute to South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu; and a spotlight on the industry’s disastrous environmental impact with the “Junk” docu-series by Olmo Parenti and Matteo Keffer.

A still from the first episode of “Junk” on Chile.
A still from the first episode of “Junk” on Chile.

Kicking off the 20 thematic sections of the edition is a curation of AI-generated films, which will be followed by a talk between photographers and artistic directors Alexandre Sade and Marguerite Chaillou of MCAS Bureau, the agency behind the first AI billboard campaign in France for underwear label Undiz.

Documentaries will take the lion’s share of the four-day event, with Olivier Nicklaus’ “The Versace Saga,” an homage to Academy-award nominated costume designer Arianne Philipps; and “The Pusher,” where professional skateboarder Steve Olson looks at the following generation of his sport.

Talks and master classes will also be aplenty, including a session at 6 p.m. on Saturday where jury president Johanson will open up on his creative process and an exhibition by visual artist Anouk Kruithof will tap into the diversity of dance videos distributed online.

Closing the edition will be the Sunday projection of “Tilda Swinton: Le geste et le genre,” (or “gesture and gender” in English), a documentary by Pierre-Paul Puljiz that weaves together clips from the actress’ storied career with insights from those who have worked with her, including filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, Olivier Saillard and Haider Ackermann.

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