Miss Chazelles – A LGBT short film about two beauty queens

A moving story of secret affections, afflictions, and love in modern France

Arts Movies & Television Simon Elstad

This article was published on September 1st, 2020

Miss Chazelles is an award-winning live-action short by Thomas Vernay that explores the rivalry between two beauty queens and their families, only for things to take an unexpected turn.

The film has won various high profile Awards, including the 2019 Aesthetica Short Film Festival and the Best Actress Award (Megan Northam) at the 2020 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. It was also selected for screening at the Oscar-qualifying Odense International Film Festival in August.

The film has screened at more than 25 high profile film festivals, including the Cork Film Festival, Oscar qualifiers Hollyshorts Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, and Tirana International Film Festival.

Clara and Marie, the protagonists, are fierce rivals. Marie won the famous Miss Chazelles-sur-Lyon pageant, while Clara was the first runner-up. That doesn’t sit well with some folks in the village. While tensions rise between Clara’s friends and Marie’s family, surprisingly, the two girls seem to have an ambiguous relationship.

Thomas Vernay’s work always surprises and intrigues. You go in expecting one thing and come out mind blown and with an expansive view of the world around. If art challenges your world view, then Vernay’s short will alter the very notion of relationships and reality.

Thomas Vernay – Writer/Director/Producer

Director/Producer/Editor Thomas Vernay directed his first short film Dryad in 2015. The film screened in competition at the SITGES Fantastic Film Festival in 2016, was selected for more than 70 festivals, and went on to win 15 awards.

After directing multi-awarded music videos such as “Ice Teens and “Flesh, he directed his second short film Miss Chazelles, a film that questions social and sentimental determinism. He is currently writing his first feature produced by Qui Vive (Who produced Pile Poil, which won a 2020 Cesar for Best Short Film). Miss Chazelles inspired the new feature.

Cinematography by Nicolas Berteyac

Nicolas Berteyac led the cinematography in this short film. He began his career as an assistant operator and then quickly took on the role of director of photography. He has worked on various creative documentaries over the years, such as Abou Laagra by Fleur Albert and other short films.

He’s working on his first feature film while preparing for his second, Belladones by Sophie Tavert Macian.

Expanding your worldview

Art challenges your worldview by changing your perspective. Miss Chazelles not only provides a glimpse of modern life in France but also explores the secret affections that bedevil all of us.

It’s also a story about love and resilience and overcoming obstacles, even insurmountable challenges and strife. Whatever you make of it, Miss Chazelles is worth watching.

Watch the trailer here.

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