Cannes: Critics' Week Unveils Lineup

Krisha Still - H 2015

Krisha Still - H 2015

Elie Wajeman's 'The Anarchists' will open the sidebar, with 'Saint Laurent' star Louis Garrel's first film receiving a special screening.

French director Elie Wajeman’s The Anarchists, starring Palme d’Or winner Adele Exarchopoulos and Cesar winner Tahar Rahim, will open the 54th International Critics’ Week program during Cannes, organizers said on Monday in unveiling the lineup. The movie is the follow-up to his acclaimed Aliyah.

A biting kids comedy from cinematographer-turned-director Mathieu Vadepied, La Vie en Grand, will serve as the closing film.

In between, seven features will run in the section's competition, all but one being first films in the sidebar that focuses on young directors.

Among them are Degrade, the first feature from Gazan guerilla filmmakers Arab and Tarzan Abunasser. The black comedy is a look at the lives of people in the Gaza Strip, particularly women in a hair salon.

SXSW jury prize winner Krisha, from first-time director Trey Edward Shults, will also screen in Cannes as part of the Critics' Week competition. The film, cast with Shults' own family, focuses on a black sheep returning to the fold for Thanksgiving.

Jonas Carpignano’s drama about two African immigrants adjusting to life in Italy, Mediterranea, will also compete. It’s the director’s second appearance in the sidebar after winning the short film competition with A Ciambra last year. WME is already on board to rep the film for U.S. domestic sales.

Meanwhile, the first feature from French director Clement Cogitore, Ni le Ciel, Ni la Terre, starring members of the young guard of French acting, including Cesar nominee Jeremie Renier and Cesar winner Kevin Azais, follows French soldiers finding their faith in Afghanistan. It’s Cogitore’s first drama feature in competition. His documentary Bielutine was in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar in 2011, and he took home a slew of festival awards for his short Among Us the same year.

Paulina, the follow-up to Argentinian director Santiago Mitre’s The Student, continues the theme of examining the ideas of political intelligence and justice.

Teen defiance drama Sleeping Giant, the fleshed-out feature from Andrew Cividino based on his short of the same name that played at Toronto last year, will also be in the competition.

Meanwhile, La tierra y la sombra, the first film from Colombian director Augusto Cesar Acevedo, is described as a “slice of life” drama about a sugar cane plantation where residents must choose between leaving and their attachment to the land.

The Critics' Week films were chosen from among 1,100 submissions.

Les Deux Amis, the first film from Saint Laurent star Louis Garrel, will get a special screening. Critics' Week artistic director Charles Tesson said that actors Garrel and co-stars Vincent Macaigne and Golshifteh Farahani “radiate,” and the film bounces “between lightness and gravity.”

The short films set for the sidebar are promising in "their amazing variety of tones," said Tesson. Following the festival, the makers of the shorts enter the Next Step training program and receive support on their first feature.

The short films in competition this year are: Everything Will Be Okay from Patrick Vollrath, Boys from Isabella Carbonell, Command Action from Joao Paulo Miranda Maria, La Fin du Dragon from Marina Diaby, The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might from Lucky Kuswandi, Monsters Turn Into Lovers from Yann Delattre, Love Comes Later from Sonejuhi Sinha, Ramona from Andrei Cre?ulescu, Too Cool for School from Kevin Phillips and Chickenpox from Fulvio Risuleo.

The sidebar previously announced its jury, including French director Katell Quillevere, British cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, Toronto Film Festival Wavelengths programmer Andrea Picard and The Hollywood Reporter film critic Boyd Van Hoeij. Israeli actress-director Ronit Elkabetz will serve as jury president.

Critics' Week will take place in Cannes May 14-22.