The Critics’ Week sidebar of the Cannes Film Festival revealed its selection for the 56th edition this morning with Artistic Director Charles Tesson unveiling 11 first and second features that will make up the main program, including seven in competition, as well as 13 shorts. American helmer Dave McCary’s directorial debut Brigsby Bear, whose film premiered in Sundance in January, will close the sidebar, while Fabrio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s second directorial effort Sicilian Ghost Story is set to open.
Critics’ Week celebrates films from first-time and second-time directors and this year, says Tesson, the section received 1,700 short films and watched 1,250 feature films. Among the 11 features selected, six are first films and five are second films.
Italian directors Grassadonia and Piazza will return to the sidebar for a second time after their debut Salvo won the Grand Prize in 2013. Supernatural thriller and unconventional mafia pic Sicilian Ghost Story focuses on a young girl who rebels against the silence of a village after her love, a young boy of 13, vanishes.
McCary’s debut Brigsby Bear, which was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for $5M in Sundance, stars Kyle Mooney, Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear and Andy Samberg in a quirky comedy about a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one (Mooney). When the show abruptly ends, his life changes forever and he sets out to finish the story himself.
Hubert Charuel’s debut Bloody Milk (Petit Paysan) focuses on a farmer in his thirties, whose life revolves around his farm and cows until misfortune strikes. The thriller will receive a special screening while Thierry de Peretti’s second feature, A Violent Life (Une Vie Violente), which examines the political and historical dimension of Corsica, will also get a special screening.
There’s a big spread of nationalities in this year’s selection, with two French directors in competition and directors from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. in the mix. It’s also the first time in Critics’ Week history that both a documentary and animation film are in competition: Ali Soozandeh’s animation Tehran Taboo, which explores the unconceivable picture of life in Tehran, and Emmanuel Gras’ second documentary Makala, which is set in the Congo, are both in competition.
The 10 short films and seven feature films in competition will be submitted to Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho, who is this year’s Jury President. He’ll award the Nespresso Grand Prize and the France 4 Visionary Award for feature films and The Leica Cine Discovery Prize for short films.
Critics Week will take place from May 18-26.
Here’s the full list:
FEATURE FILMS IN SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Sicilian Ghost Story, dir: Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza (Opening Night Film)
Bloody Milk, dir: Hubert Charuel*
A Violent Life, dir: Thierry de Peretti
SHORT FILMS SPECIAL SCREENING
After School Knife Fight, dir: Caroline Poggie & Jonathan Vinel
Bad Bunny, dir: Carlos Conceicao
Islands, dir: Yann Gonzalez
Brigsby Bear, dir: Dave McCary*
Ava, dir: Lea Mysius*
La Familia, dir: Gustavo Rondon Cordova*
Gabriel and the Mountain, dir: Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa
Makala, dir: Emmanuel Gras
Oh Lucy!, dir: Atsuko Hirayanagi*
Los Perros, dir: Marcela Said
Tehran Taboo, dir: Ali Soozandeh*
SHORT FILMS IN COMPETITION
Los Desheredados, dir: Laura Ferrés
Elsa – Sketches on a Departure, dir: Oliver Adam Kusio
Children Leave At Dawn, dir: Manon Coubia
Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month, dir: Carlo Francisco Manatad
Möbius, dir: Sam Kuhn
Real Gods Require Blood, dir: Moin Hussain
Selva, dir: Sofia Quiros Ubeda
Tesla: Luxiere Mondiale, dir: Matthew Rankin
Exposure, dir: Salvatore Lista
*denotes first film eligible for the Camera d’Or