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ACID’s Brooklyn in Cannes

ACID’s Brooklyn in Cannes

Brooklyn is one of a small selection of films which have been chosen for ACID,
the newest sidebar to the Cannes Film Festival.  Actually ACID has been around for 19 years and has been showcasing films in Cannes since 1993.  It is an association of film directors who has been promoting the cinema distribution of independent films and encouraging debates between the authors and the audiences. The strength of ACID is its founding principle : the support given by filmmakers to other filmmakers, French or international. It screens nine feature films, fiction and documentary, chosen by ACID filmmakers among hundreds of works from all around the world. It is a sort of Slamdance.  Its address in Cannes is La Malmaison 47, boulevard de la Croisette.

The filmmaker, Pascal Tessaud, enchanted me with his short La Ville Lumiere which he showed at COLCOA two
years ago where it won a prize. It also won Best International Short Film Award at Reelworld Film Festival in Toronto. His films are part of France’s “New Vibe”, films made by
those filmmakers living in the “banlieux” or suburbs, that is the Arab, African immigrant neighborhoods of Paris.

I have not seen the film yet, but Pascal has made me aware of these films which he calls part of the “New Vibe” group of filmmakers; Donoma being the best
known. He considers this sort of filmmaking the legacy of a little known but seminal filmmaker he wrote a book about, Paul Carpita who made films in the 1950s in Marseilles and died in 2009. Ken Loach in his preface to a 2009 book of interviews with Carpita, claimed: “Since the censorship of his work, Paul Carpita led a modest existence. Ultimate proof, if necessary, of his integrity. It is finally time for us to recognise him as a hero.” 

The story focuses on Coralie (Kt Gorique), who runs away from Switzerland. She arrives in Paris to test her luck in Hip Hop music.

She’s hired as a cook in a local association of the Parisian suburb Saint-Denis. Coralie meets Issa (Rafal Uchiwa), the rising star of the hood…

KT Gorique, the lead character won the world championship of freestyle of the END OF THE WEAK in New York, she is the first female to have won this competition in 11 years !!

Here is a video of her performing, which inspired Pascal to contact her about his film

The entire film was made with rappers improvising their part in the same style than John Cassavetes used in Shadows. The director hosted a workshop to teach his cast the fundamentals of acting over a month in the city of Saint-Denis (a sort of French Bronx). There is no jazz scene here, it’s Hip Hop. In addition the beat-makers Khulibaï and DJ Dusty created original music for the film and helped Pascal produce his first Hip Hop beat, which is included in the film.

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