Clockwise from top: Alma Gloria, Tiger Stripes, The (Ex)perience Of Love and No Love Lost Photo: Courtesy of La Semaine de la Critique
She noted that the selectors had watched 1000 features. Among the 11 selected films for this year’s edition, seven are first films and six were directed by women.
Critics' Week artistic director Ava Cahen Photo: Courtesy of La Semaine de la Critique
The Special Screenings programme comprises: Vincent Must Die, Stéphan Castang’s first feature film starring Karim Leklou and Vimala Pons; a taught, harrowing genre film. Vincent leads a quiet life as a graphic designer. For no reason whatsoever, he is suddenly assaulted by anyone who crosses his path, whether they know him or not. Hounded, Vincent wants to understand... and most importantly, survive! Castang contributes an allegory of humanity consumed by mistrust.
The second special screening by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni takes audiences on a fantastical journey with The (Ex)perience Of Love, starring Lucie Debay and Lazare Gousseau. Sandra and Rémy cannot procreate. To overcome that obstacle, their doctor prescribes a peculiar, innovative method: each of them should rekindle with their exes, and sleep with them. Said to be a funny, sexy romantic comedy it strips down the heterosexual norms, demystifies sex, and casts a new spell on love.
Among the seven features in the competition are Tiger Stripes, Malay director Amanda Nell Eu’s first feature film, offering a new, witty, and extravagant take on teenage metamorphosis and rebellion.
With Power Alley, her first feature, Brazilian director Lillah Halla stands up to conservatism that is eating away at her country with a unifying, queer outlook.
Sleep, marks Korean director Jason Yu’s first feature film. Bong Joon-Ho’s former assistant director signs a sensational film as he tells the story of a struggling young couple before and after their first child is born.
Audrey Diwan, President of the Critics’ Week Jury Photo: Courtesy of La Semaine de la Critique
Lost Country, Serbian director Vladimir Perisič’s second feature film, deal with an intimate and political saga set in 1996 Belgrade during the students’ demonstrations against Milosevic’s regime.
Inshallah A Boy is the first film from Jordan to be presented at the Critics’ Week. Amjad Al Rasheed’s first film is the deeply moving portrait of Nawal - a care worker, a widow and mother of a young girl - who is fighting for her independence. She is played by Palestinian actress Mouna Hawa.
A bittersweet summer tale, Il Pleut dans la Maison is Belgian director Paloma Sermon-Daï’s first fiction feature. Staying clear of pathos, she tells the unadorned story of the relationship between siblings who try to stay together with their dignity intact as their home is flooded and their bank account emptied.
The Week will end with the closing film No Love Lost, Erwan Le Duc’s delectable second feature. A French tragi-comedy with a quirky, poetic take on relationships between parents and children. Father and daughter - Nahuel Perez Biscayart and Céleste Brunnquell - are inseparable.
The list of ten short films in competition will be announced on Wednesday, 19 April.
The president of the jury will be French director and screenwriter Audrey Diwan. Her second feature, Happening, won the Golden Lion at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival. With her on jury duty will be German actor and choreographer Franz Rogowski, Kim Yutani (director of programming of the Sundance Film Festival), Portuguese cinematographer Rui Poças and Indian journalist Meenakshi Shedde. La Semaine de la Critique runs from 17 to 25 May.
- Il Pleut dans la Maison (Belgium/France)
- Inshallah A Boy/Inshallah Walad (Jordan/Saudi Arabia/Qatar/France)
- Sleep/Jam (South Korea)
- Power Alley/Levante (Brazil/France/Uruguay)
- Lost Country (France/Serbia /Luxembourg/Croatia)
- Le ravissement (France)
- Tiger Stripes (Malaysia/Taiwan/Singapore/France/Germany/Netherlands/Indonesia/Qatar)
- Ama Gloria (France)
- Vincent Must Die/Vincent doit mourir (France)
- The (Ex)perience Of Love/Le syndrome des amours passées (Belgium/France)
- No Love Lost/La fille de son père (France)