The contrast between French and UK film-making has been highlighted via a short film experiment screened at the 13th Festival Of British Film in Dinard.

The joint programme for making short films, known as The Short Channel/Manche Courte, was launched by the two nation's public support bodies, the UK's Film Council and France's CNC, at last year's festival.

The project saw three UK and three French upcoming film directors pair off and each make a film from the same script. The scheme was bankrolled from a coffer of Euros 300,000, joint funded by Council's New Cinema Fund and the CNC's Short Film Fund.

Introducing the films at Dinard at the weekend, Paul Trijbits, head of the Film Council's New Cinema Fund, explained: "It was a simple but effective way to find out if French and English cinema were completely different or not.

"The philosophy was that for the countries in Europe which are responsible for much of the film industry, we are not very good at collaborating."

He also cautioned the audience: "You are not supposed to decide which is the best one."

But with the films screened back to back, with each French short followed by its English counterpart, it was hard not to make direct comparisons.

Many in the audience judged it a 2-1 victory to the Gallic hosts, although UK film-maker Alicia Duffy was singled out for praise for The Most Beautiful Man In The World, (pictured, left) produced by Breakthru Films. The French version of the script was directed by Alix Barbey as L'Homme Le Plus Beau Du Monde (pictured, right) and produced by Movimento.

Other shorts included street people drama Le Tarif De Dieu/Payback (Fr: Mathias Gokalp/Kare Prod; UK: Saul Dibb/Dan Films) and football comedy Championat/Championship (Fr: Hany Tamba/Bizibi Prods; UK: Phil Claydon/CF1 Ltd).

The experiment is part of the growing links between the Film Council and the CNC, as well as other funding bodies across Europe during the last 12 months. A spokeswoman for the Film Council added: "The Short Channel is a forerunner of what we hope to see as more ambitious projects in the future."

The programme will be screened at London's Cine Lumiere during next month's Regus London Film Festival.