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Feathers, Omar El Zohairy’s comedic drama about a woman forced to deal with the aftermath of a magic trick gone awry, took the top award in the Critics’ Week sidebar at Cannes, with the Egyptian director’s film being honored with the Nespresso Grand Prize.
Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique, or Critics’ Week, had in all 13 features competing in the sidebar, where Feathers had its world premiere. Romanian director Cristian Mungiu led the jury for the 60th edition of Critics’ Week, known as a showcase for new talent.
In other prize-giving, the Discovery Prize for best short went to Chinese director Zou Jing’s Lili Alone (Duo Li), her first short film, and Colombian director Simon Mesa Soto’s feature Amparo, about a single mother struggling to free her teenage son after he is sent by the army into a war zone, earned the Rising Star Award.
Elsewhere, the SACD award went to director Elie Grappe and screenwriter Raphaëlle Desplechin for the debut feature Olga, about a 15-year-old gymnast torn between training in Switzerland and Ukraine, where her mother works as a journalist. And the Gan Foundation award for distribution went to Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre for Rien A Foutre (Zero Fucks Given), about an airline flight attendant with a stormy personal life.
The Canal+ Award for best short film went to Brutalia, Days of Labor by director Manolis Mavris. A total of 11 of the 13 feature films picked for Cannes Critics’ Week 2021, which ran from July 7 to 15, were directorial debuts, including all seven of the competition titles.
Several of the directors with films in the main Cannes competition this year — including Leos Carax, Jacques Audiard, Nadav Lapid, Justin Kurzel, and François Ozon — all got their Cannes start at Le Semaine de la Critique.
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