Cannes: 'Paulina' Tops Critics' Week Awards

"Paulina"

The awards were announced on Thursday, May 21.

As the Cannes Fim Festival winds down, the first of the weekend's awards were handed out Thursday night by the Critics’ Week sidebar, with the top prize, the Nespresso Grand Prize, going to Paulina.

Argentinean director Santiago Mitre's drama centers on a socially conscious woman who abandons a law career to teach young kids in a school in Argentina. When she arrives, she is violently attacked by a gang of young people, some of them being her own students.

Cesar Acevedo’s Land and Shade took home two prizes, the France 4 Visionary Award, which is awarded to a film that "reflects the passion and enthusiasm of promising young film critics for the new filmmakers of their generation," and the SACD award. The film centers on an old farmer who has returned to his home, now a wasteland, to tend to his gravely ill son.

The Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Award, which helps the film find distribution in France, went to Clement Cogitore’s Afghanistan-set film The Wakhan Front.

Two short-film prizes were also give out. The Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize was given Fulvio Risuelo's Chickenpox, and the Canal+ Award went to Ramona, directed by Andrei Cretulescu.

The Critics' Week sidebar was established in 1961 with the goal of supporting film creation and exploring and revealing young filmmakers from all around the world. The Cannes Film Festival runs May 13 through May 21.

The top prizes for the main selection will be awarded on Sunday night during the closing ceremony at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. Jury presidents Joel and Ethan Coen will announce the winners.

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