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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

72nd Cannes Film Festival: It's all about fresh talents

Two sections, 'Un certain regard' and 'Directors Fortnight,' shed light on many fresh and emerging talents at this year's Cannes Film Festival

Yasser Moheb from Cannes, Thursday 23 May 2019
Cannes
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Known for its usual inclination towards new ideas and new talents, away from the calculations sometimes present in the programming of the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival, the section "Un certain regard" gives this year a chance to first films.

Sixteen films, including six first films, are on the selection list of this section created in 1978 to highlight atypical films, or directors still little known. First films made by women, such as Monia Chokri, Danielle Lessovitz, or Annie Silverstein, have been featured.

Christophe Honoré, Zabou Breitman, Albert Serra and Bruno Dumont, and a very good selection of first works are also on show.

Critics Week: A youthful presence

Not far from Debussy Hall, devoted mainly to the selection Un certain regard, the Semaine de la critique, a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival, reveals its promise from 15 to 23 May, with a jury chaired by Colombian director Ciro Guerra.

Dedicated to new forms of creation, this selection offers a panorama of the foremost innovative films of the moment. Among the 11, appear eight first films, including Abu Leila by Algerian Amin Sidi-Boumediene and the Miracle of the Unknown Saint by Moroccan Alaa Eddine Aljem. Two works that "contrast with the type of productions that can be seen" in the Maghreb and are only “the reflection of a new generation that comes from short film," according to a statement of Charles Tesson, delegate general of Critics Week.

If the movie Abu Leila deals with the civil war in Algeria, the second, The Miracle of the Unknown Saint, is a fable on religious tourism.

Exploring other poorly known corners of the 7th art, Critics Week also brings first films from Costa Rica (Black Ash of Sofia Quiros Ubeda) and Guatemala (Nuestras madres by César Diaz, on the disappeared of the dictatorship).

Among the most anticipated films are Vivarium, a fantasy film with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Franco Lolli's Litigante, which will be screened at the opening, You Deserve a Lover, the first film by actress Hafsia Herzi, which tells the sentimental story of a drifting girl, and the animated film by Jérémy Clapin, I Lost My Body.

16 newcomers to Directors Fortnight

Of the 24 feature films selected for the section Directors Fortnight, 16 are by directors new to Cannes, according to Paolo Moretti, the new general delegate of section. According to Moretti, the section embodies the continual movement of the cinematographic field.

Many directors, meanwhile, will present their second feature films. This is the case of Nicolas Parisier with Alice and the Mayor, Georgian Levan Akin with And Then We Dance, the American Robert Eggers with The Lighthouse, or Babak Anvari with Wounds. Some returns are also notable: Quentin Dupieux, with his opening film The Deer, or the Filipino Lav Diaz with Ang Hupa (The Halt).

Comedies are also represented, including the political comedy Por el dinero by Alejo Moguillansky, and Yves, the closing film of this section, by Benoît Fogeard, staging the story of a rapper, his fridge and artificial intelligence.

Female portraits are present and underlined, in Lillian by Andreas Horwath, An Easy Girl by Rebecca Zlotowski, and Sem Seu Sangue by Alice Furtado, which discusses feminine desire and ideology. Even if the number of female directors remains a minority, the themes addressed are themselves a search for a certain balance.

Among the feature films are many that address contemporary social and political movements that shake society. In this vein are Lech Kowalski's “On va tout péter” and Alaa-Eldine Slim's Tlamess, which raises the question of the representation of masculinity in the Arab world.

Full of fresh ideas worthy of contemplation, the 72nd Cannes selection mixes novel approaches and perrenial human concerns.

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