Indiewire’s Springboard column profiles up-and-comers in the film industry worthy of your attention.
Delphine and Muriel Coulin, directors, “The Stopover”
The filmmaking sisters are making their return to Cannes five years after their feature debut, “17 Girls,” made its premiere during the always-exciting Critics Week. Their first feature followed a group of teenage girls who make a pregnancy pact in hopes of forming a community of young mothers and kiddos beyond the reach of the rest of society. This time around, the Coulins are again compelled by stories about women living in strict subcultures, and their Un Certain Regard offering “The Stopover” (“Voir du pays”) follows a pair of female soldiers who take a short leave in Cyprus after a tour of Afghanistan. Strong women are also in front of the camera, as the Coulins cast two exciting (and newish) talents as their leads, singer/actress Soko and Greek New Wave regular Ariane Labed.
Soko, actress, “The Dancer” and “The Stopover”
Sadek, actor, “Tour de France”
Cannes 2016 might end up as an unexpected proving ground for singers making the jump into serious acting. Look no further than French rapper Sadek, making his film debut in Rachid Djaidani’s Directors’ Fortnight offering “Tour de France.” It’s a huge film to make your first; not only is Djaidani becoming a Cannes regular, but the feature casts Sadek, who has been rapping since he was just a teen, against French powerhouse Gerard Depardieu. At least Sadek gets to slip into somewhat familiar skin, playing a Muslim rapper who is oddly tasked with driving his best friend’s slightly nutty father around France for what seems like an increasingly bizarre (and tension-filled) trip. The film reportedly culminates with a big-time concert, all the better for Sadek to show off his skills in a brand new forum, while also staking a claim as an up-and-coming actor.
Michael O’Shea, director, “The Transfiguration”
Adele Haenel, actress, “The Unknown Girl”
Pyotr Skvortsov, actor, “The Student”
The young Russian actor toplines Kirill Serebrennikov’s bold (and possibly controversial, given its source material, a play that stirred up a lot of chatter when it debuted a few years back) as Veniamin, the titular student who bucks teen convention and goes all in on something really subversive: Religion. The narrative fallout from Veniamin’s new lifestyle is swift and complex, which should afford the film’s newbie star a big, meaty role and the kind of signature performance that can set him apart from the pack.
Edie Yvonne, actress, “Kitty”
Adriana Ugarte, actress, “Julieta”
A mainstay on Spanish television programs like “La Señora” and “El tiempo entre costuras,” Ugarte arrives at Cannes with the kind of project that most actresses can only dream about: A Pedro Almodovar film that features her talents front and center. Almodovar’s newest, adapted from a trio of stories from Alice Munro, follows the eponymous Julieta over the course of three decades, with Ugarte playing the younger, hipper Julieta to Emma Suárez’s more (literally) grown up version. Almodovar’s love and affection for his actresses is one of his greatest strengths as a filmmaker, so there is little doubt that “Julieta” will give all of his ladies room to shine, especially Ugarte (and what looks to be a pretty stellar ’80s era wardrobe).
Sasha Lane, actress, “American Honey”
Nathan Morlando, director, “Mean Dreams”
Morlando’s first feature, “Citizen Gangster,” was a big hit in his native Canada, where it earned him accolades at TIFF and nods from the Genie Awards and the Directors Guild of Canada. Still, bowing his next film – a coming-of-age drama featuring a cast that includes Colm Feore and Bill Paxton – at Cannes is a major step forward and the feature, debuting in the Directors’ Fortnight section, will likely serve to push forward Morlando’s career in a very big way. Morlando’s interest seems to lay in crafting smart, dangerous films with a palpable edge of tension to them, and “Mean Dreams” appears to fit neatly onto his burgeoning resume. Keep an eye out for this one.
Check out a look at “Julieta,” embedded below: