Five to the fore in Critics’ Week

Cannes sidebar maintains support for filmmakers

by Richard Mowe

Part of the Critics’ Week selection: Beasts (La Terre Des Hommes), a second film by Naël Marandin with Diane Rouxel
Part of the Critics’ Week selection: Beasts (La Terre Des Hommes), a second film by Naël Marandin with Diane Rouxel Photo: Unifrance
After the unveiling yesterday of the Cannes Official Selection for the Covid-19 special edition, the Critics’ Week (La Semaine de la critique) followed suit with an offering of five features and 10 shorts that will be given a label and support to accompany them in cinemas and festivals at home and abroad.

The five features for the Week’s 59th edition include four from France. They comprise: Gold For Dogs (De l’Or Pour Les Chiens) by Anna Cazenave Cambet, about a young woman in the South of France who follows her love to Paris with unexpected results; Skies Of Lebanon (Sous le ciel d’Alice) by Chloé Mazlo takes place in Lebanon with Alba Rochwacher as a woman trying to hold on to a relationship against the backdrop of war; Beasts (La Terre Des Hommes) is a second film by Naël Marandin with Diane Rouxel, Jalil Lespert and Olivier Gourmet and deals with violence and sexual harassment against a rural background; and The Swarm (La Nuée) by Just Philippot focuses on a single mother who, in order to save her farm from bankruptcy, breeds edible grasshoppers. She then begins to have a strange, obsessive relationship with them.

The quintet is completed by After Love, a British film by first-time director Aleem Khan. Joanna Scanlan plays a woman who, having converted to Islam after meeting her future husband, suffers an identity crisis following his sudden death. When she uncovers details of his secret family in the French town of Calais, she travels to find them. The film also stars Nathalie Richard and Talid Ariss.

The short films in the selection are: August 22, This Year by Graham Foy; Axşama doğru (Towards Evening) by Teymur Hajiyev Dustin by Naïla Guiguet; Forastera by Lucía Aleñar Iglesias; Good Thanks, You? by Molly Manning Walker; Humongous! by Aya Kawazoe; Maalbeek by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis; Marlon Brando by Vincent Tilanus; Menarca by Lillah Halla and White Goldfish by Jan and Raf Roosens.

Critics’ Week director Charles Tesson said they would organise special screenings in the presence of the film talents around the country as well as showing the selection at the Cinémathèque in Paris and at the Angoulème Festival of Francophone Cinema at the end of August.

The Critics’ Week is organised by the French Union of Film Critics whose members include critics, writers and journalists. Besides Cannes they also take part in numerous festival juries whose deliberations are public, such as Arras, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Poitiers, Toulouse, Trouville and Paris.

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