Critics offer top picks for Cannes

La Semaine de la Critique reveals line-up.

by Richard Mowe

First animation in Critics’ Week: Teheran Taboo
First animation in Critics’ Week: Teheran Taboo Photo: Critics’ Week

After all the other programme revelations for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the French film critics finally have revealed today (21 April) in Paris their selection for Critics’ Week (La Semaine de la Critique) which opens with a Mafia romance drama, Sicilian Ghost Story, from the directorial partnership of Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza.

Critics’ Week director Charles Tesson
Critics’ Week director Charles Tesson Photo: Aurélie Lamachère

The duo have a track record with Critics’ Week, having won the top prize for a hit-man thriller Salvo.

Artistic director Charles Tesson announced that the closing title is a Sundance hit, Brigsby Bear, a kidnap comedy directed by Kyle Mooney from Saturday Night Live with cast including Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear and Andy Samberg.

Seven features by first or second time directors will compete for the Nespresso Prize while ten shorts are in competition for the Leica Cine Discovery prize.

The competition will include for the first time an animated film and a documentary - Ali Soozandeh’s Tehran Taboo examines the hypocrisy of the religious regime in Iran while the documentary Makala, by Emmanuel Gras, looks at the life and family of a Congolese trader.

Other features include a comedy romance from Japanese director Atsuko Hiranayagi, Oh Lucy! which stars Josh Hartnett. From Venezuela comes a father-son drama La Familia by Gustavo Rondon Cordova. Also from South America are Los Perros, by Marcela Said, looking at the continued influence of Pinochet on contemporary Chile, and Gabriel And The Mountain, the second feature by Brazilian Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa, about aid to Africa.

Hubert Charuel’s farm thriller Bloody Milk and Thierry de Peretti’s A Violent Life, about the crime world in Corsica, will be part of the out of competition screenings.

As previously announced Bazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho, whose Aquarius was in the main competition last year, will lead the jury, with Niels Schneider, producer Diana Bustamante Escobar, distributor Hania Mroue and film critic Eric Kohn.

Opening Film :

  • Sicilian Ghost Story by Fabio Grassadonia et Antonio Piazza (Italy/France)

Critics’ Week closing film: Brigsby Bear by Dave McCary
Critics’ Week closing film: Brigsby Bear by Dave McCary Photo: Sundance

Features in Competition

  • Ava by Léa Mysius, (France)
  • La Familia by Gustavo Rondon Cordova, (Vénézuela/Chile/Norvège)
  • Gabriel and the Mountain by Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa, (Brazil/France)
  • Makala by Emmanuel Gras, (France)
  • Oh Lucy ! by Atsuko Hirayanagi, (Japan/US)
  • Los Perros by Marcela Said, 2e film (Chile/France)
  • Tehran Taboo by Ali Soozhande, (Germany / Austria)

Special Screenings Features

  • Petit Paysan by Hubert Charuel (France)
  • A Violent Life by Thierry de Peretti (France)

Closing Film

  • Brigsby Bear by Dave McCary (US)

Short Films In Competition

  • Los Desheredados, (Laura Ferrés Moreno)
  • Ela - Sketches On A Departure (Oliver Adam Kusio)
  • Children Leave At Dawn (Manon Coubia)
  • Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee Of The Month, (Carlo Francisco Manatad)
  • Möbius, (Sam Kuhn)
  • The Best Fireworks Ever (Aleksandra Terpinska)
  • Real Gods Require Blood (Moin Hussain)
  • Selva, (Sofia Quirós Ubeda)
  • Tesla: Lumière Mondiale (Matthew Rankin)
  • Exposure (Salvatore Lista)

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