2024 FESTIVALApr 10-20, 2024Lansing, MI

Chasing Cotards, “The Biggest Short Film of all Time”

Here’s a funny story!

While making copies of our films to hand to our selection committee, we accidentally copied the “Making Of” documentary rather than the actual film “Chasing Cotards”.  Imagine my confusion when I started reading our selection committee’s comments! One in particular really had me scratching my head “I learned a lot about the world of filmmaking.”  What?!  Had I missed something?  Am I really that dumb, and the whole film was some sort of metaphor for filmmaking?  I think I need to watch it again…

Nope, just a clerical error, but our selection committee enjoyed the making of documentary a lot.  So much so that we tossed around the idea of playing it after the film.

Chasing Cotards was shot on VistaVision.  VistaVision is a variant on 35mm film that was invented at Paramount Studios in 1954.  They don’t make VistaVision cameras anymore,  so for this production they essentially had to swipe camera from a museum.  VistaVision exposes the film horizontally rather than vertically.  Let me show you a picture.  

Doesn't look like a very exciting film.

The result is a much, much larger area of film for each frame.  This makes the image quality quite a bit higher.  It’s kind of like a precursor to IMAX.  In fact, when they premiered this film, it was printed to 70mm IMAX film and screened in an IMAX theater.  It must have been pretty rad.  We unfortunately don’t have the facilities for such an exhibition, but we do have a great-looking HD copy, so it’s a lot better than a paltry DVD. PSH! DVD is so 1999.   

As interesting as the behind the scenes technology may be, all of it takes a backseat to just how beautiful this film is.  There is no dialogue, just pure, visual storytelling.  And the visuals are truly stunning.  They took VistaVision seriously and focused just on the images.  It pays off.  It’s a great short film, and an amazing way to kick off the Capital City Film Festival.

You can get your tickets for the opening night screen of Chasing Cotards and Aardvark ————->here<——————

For a full schedule, visit www.capitalcityfilmfest.com

-Dan Hartley, Co-Programming Director