Critics’ Week prizes for The Pack and Aftersun

Roll-out starts of this year’s Cannes big hitters

by Richard Mowe

The Pack is set in an experimental centre for youngsters in the Colombian tropical forest
The Pack is set in an experimental centre for youngsters in the Colombian tropical forest Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Critics' Week
As the Cannes Film Festival starts gearing up for the main awards ceremony on Saturday prizes and awards from other sections of the festival have started to emerge.

The Jury of the 61st Critics’ Week, presided over by the director Kaouther Ben Hania, have awarded the Grand Prize to The Pack (La Jauría) by Andrés Ramírez Pulido, set in an experimental centre for minors in the Colombian tropical forest and the director’s debut feature.

New York-based Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells has won the French Touch Prize of the Jury to Aftersun, which looks back at a father-daughter holiday at a Turkish resort in the 1990s and stars Paul Mescal.

Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio in Critics' Week winner Aftersun by Charlotte Well
Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio in Critics' Week winner Aftersun by Charlotte Well Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Critics' Week
Wells has said: “Living and having gone through film school in the US, I feel very fortunate that I come from a place where there is a national funding body and there is robust support for debuts and early stage filmmakers.”

The Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for short film has gone to Ice Merchants by João Gonzalez.

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award has been given to the youthful star of Love According to Dalva, Zelda Samson, a first feature by director Emmanuelle Nicot. Samson in astonishing first performance plays a girl abused by her father.

Other awards comprise Gan Foundation Award for Distribution to assist Urban Distribution, the French distributor with the release of The Woodcutter Story (Metsurin tarina) by Mikko Myllylahti

An SACD Award scored another plaudit for Pulido, the writer of La Jauría.

The Canal + Award for short film On Xerxes' Throne by Evi Kalogiropoulou.

This was the first Critics’ Week selection under the helm of new artistic director Eva Cahan.

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