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Women ♀ make up four out the 22 films = 11% in the Directors’ Fortnight, a number which is no better than the 15% of the main event and Un Certain Regard and no better than Critics’ Week (15%). Facebook is currently circulating a petition protesting the lack of women represented in the Competition, but the roots of the problem are deeper than mere festival selection. For some interesting figures see The Wrap’s article by Steve Pond. The number of women directors has decreased over the last ten years although the number of women producers has increased. Is this a matter of natural selection? Are women naturally nurturers and does that make them better at producing than directing? Interesting to note that in Iran the majority of films are about women rather than about men, though the opposite applies to the ratio of directors…what does that connote I wonder. It is time to become conscious of the role of women in all societies. Therefore, this preface.
Of the 4 features awarded prizes in the Quinzaine, one was by a woman director, Fabienne Berthaud ♀. Of the 3 features to win awards in La Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week), none was by a woman director.
FIPRESCI award for the best debut in Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week went to Todos vos sode capitans (You are all Captains) by Oliver Laxe (Morocco-Spain) See trailer . Zeitun Films, sold by Memento. Un Certain Regard’s top prize went to Hahaha sold by Finecut.
The awards of the Quinzaine des Realisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight) are given by the festival sponsors. The Camera d’Or might be awarded to a film of the Quinzaine, Semaine de la Critique, Un Certain Regard or Competition on closing night. The Carrosse d’or* (Golden Coach) Prize is a tribute by directors of the SRF and is awarded on Closing Night.
Pieds nus sur les limaces (Lily Sometimes) directed by Fabienne Berthaud ♀ (ISA: SND Groupe 6) was given the Art Cinema Award, sponsored by the International Confederation of Art Cinemas, a group that represents 3,000 screens around the world.
Illegal (ISA: Films Distribution) won the SACD Prize, sponsored by the SACD management rights society, which includes 48,000 authors of audiovisual works. The award goes to a French-language film and is chosen by a commission chaired by director Bertrand Tavernier.
Cautare and Mary Last Seen received the SFR Prize, for being the most audacious short films in the competition. The prize is awarded by a jury of professionals and directors assembled by SFR, a European telecom operator.
The Palm Dog (it’s facetious) went to Vuk, the goatherd’s dog in Le Quattro Volte. Last year, the award was given to the animated dogs in Pixar’s “Up.”
The controversial Danish documentary Armadillo (ISA: TrustNordisk) took the Grand Prix for Cannes Critics Week 2010. Director Janus Metuz receives a € 5,000 prize from Cinepolis. The film about young Danish soldiers in Afghanistan prompted a government inquiry.
The SACD Prize and ACID/CCAS Support award went to Bi, Don’t Be Afraid!, directed by Phan Dang Di.
The Canal+ Award for best short went to Daniel Joseph Borgman’s Berik; the Kodak Discovery Award for best short film went to Ariel Kleiman’s Deeper Than Yesterday.
The artistic directors of both Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine de realisateurs) and Critics’ Week (La Semaine de la critique) have stated they did not want to pick from Sundance titles. “We try to show films that don’t pass through Sundance first”, Critics Week’s Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Berjon said, “although U.S. indie entries are well represented this year.” “I wanted to change things up and not take any Sundance films unless they were exceptional,” said Frederic Boyer said in an interview.
Considering how many Sundance titles went to the Berlinale, and that Cannes is 6 months later, singling out Sundance is somewhat odd. We in US already know that Sundance has a certain sort of American film, and that other films are continually being made that might be just as good but not to the taste of Sundance programmers or simply not timed for the Sundance slot. That the two Cannes sidebars feel a need to distance themselves from Sundance is very complementary to Sundance however. Both sidebars are showcasing new talent as well, which distances them from the main competition of the Festival de Cannes. Now the issue is how Directors Fortnight and Critics Week will distinguish themselves from each another.
Directors’ Fortnight was created by the SRF (French Directors Society) in the wake of the events of May ’68 by Godard,Truffaut, Chabrol and for a time, Louis Malle, but the non-competitive’s 42nd edition is ALL NEW. First there is the new artistic director, Frederic Boyer. Next there is a new logo, a new website and 11 new first time directors of the 22 selected. And finally, all but one of the 22 films are brand new too (premieres). While it is “non-competitive”, sponsors are allowed to give their own awards. ;-)
Agnes Varda will receive French directors’ organization the SRF’s Carosse d’Or prize on May 13 during the sidebar’s traditional opening-night ceremonies. ♀
This year’s selection for the Fortnight was light on films from Asia. Apart from Kubat’s film The Light Thief from Kyrgyzstan, just the Tiger Factory by Woo Ming Jin of Malaysia comes from Asia.
Latin America is well represented with two Mexican, one Argentinean and one Uruguayan horror film. From Mexico comes Michael Rowe’s first feature Ano Bisiesto and Jorge Michel Grau We Are What We Are. From Argentina: Diego Lerman The Invisible Eye, an Argentinean-French-Spanish co-production, and from Uruguay: Gustavo Hernandez’s horror film The Silent House , filmed in only four days in one continuous shot, and based on a true story. Trailer .
The lineup follows:
All Good Children (Ireland – Belgium – France) by Alicia Duffy ♀ produced by Element Pictures and Cineart, backed by Backup Films and being sold by Coach 14. Winner of third prize in the Cannes Cinéfondation competition in 2001, the director was also selected for the Croisette’s official shorts competition in 2003 with The Most Beautiful Man in the World (also nominated for a Bafta).
The Light Thief (Kyrgyzstan) by Aktan Arym Kubat. The Match Factory. About an electrician, the last link with the Kyrgyg energy system and the Mafia. When the electricity rates were hiked Kyrgyzstan had its second revolution since independence from USSR and the country is currently in a state of suspense.
Shit Year by Cam Archer (USA) The Match Factory
title=”Cleveland Vs. Wall Street”> by Jean-Stephane Bron (France-Switzerland) Films Distribution
Love Like Poison aka Un Poison violent by Katell Quillevere (France) ♀ Films Distribution
Ano Bisiesto aka Leap Year, Michael Rowe (Mexico) Pyramide International
Lily Sometimes aka Pieds nus sur les limaces by Fabienne Berthaud (France) (closing film) ♀ SND Groupe M6
Tiger Factory by Woo Ming-jin (Malaysia)
Two Gates of Sleep by Alistair Banks Griffin (U.S.) Recreation
The Wanderer by Avishai Sivan (Israel)
We Are What We Are by Jorge Michel Grau (Mexico) Wild Bunch
Boxing Gym by Frederick Wiseman (U.S.) Doc & Film
Stones in Exile by Stephen Kijak (U.K.) BBC Worldwide
Licht, Andre Schreuders (Netherlands)
Quest, Ionut Piturescu (Romania)
Mary Last Seen, Sean Durkin (U.S.)
Petit tailleuer, Louis Garrel (France)
Shadows of Silence, Pradeepan Raveendra (France) ♀?
Shikasha, Hirabayashi Isamu (Japan)
A Silent Child, Jesper Klevenas (Sweden)
Tre ore, Annarita Zambrano (Italy) ♀
Zed Crew, Noah Pink (Zambia)
La Semaine de la Critique started in the spring of 1961, during the fourteenth Cannes International Film Festival. Upon the initiative of the Association Française de la Critique de Cinéma 2 (French Association of Film Critics), the Festival screened The Connection by Shirley Clarke (USA), part of a less popular wave of films, usually overlooked by producers as well as by film festivals. To have its screening at the Cannes Film Festival which at that time was ruled by producers and not very open to emerging tendencies, was a true phenomenon. The 48th annual International Critics Weeks’ artistic director Jean-Christophe Berjon has announced 7 competition films, all up for the Camera d’Or and 6 of which are world premiers. Feel-good films predominate as do young filmmakers.
Women in Critics Week ♀ only 1 (1%): French Competition Belle Epine, a first film but not a feel-good one by Rebecca Zlotowski.
Asian titles came out in force in this year’s Critics Week competition, including Boo Junfeng Sandcastle from Singapore, Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di’s Bi, Don’t be Afraid and South Korean Jang Cheol So’s Bedevilled. In its form, it’s profoundly Korean, but it hits upon universal values, Berjon said of the latter.
Scandinavia adds a Nordic touch to the lineup, with Swedish directing duo Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson Sound of Noise, a co-production with France about a police officer allergic to music who must confront a band of sonic terrorists.
Critics Week lineup follows:
Sound of Noise — first feature Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, Sweden/France (Wild Bunch)