The Critics’ Week section of Cannes can sometimes appear a bit obscure to non fest-heads, but it’s important to remember that such groundbreaking talent has been discovered here as Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Jeff Nichols. The sidebar is made up of first and second features and just announced a near-sweep for Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe. The film won the Nespresso Grand Prize, the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Prize and the France 4 Visionary Award. I’ve heard great things about this film from Ukraine. Told in Sign Language, it’s set in a specialized boarding school for the deaf and mute. There, a young man learns to navigate the school’s organized crime syndicate, The Tribe, until he breaks all of the unwritten rules by falling for the chief’s girl. The film is understood to be difficult to watch in parts, but makes the director one to keep an eye on. The Society of Authors, Directors and Composers Award for best screenplay went to Boris Lojkine for Hope. The French pic is set in the Sahara desert where a young man from Cameroon rescues Hope, a Nigerian woman, as they attempt to make it to Europe. The UK’s Gaëlle Denis won the Canal Plus Award for best short film with Crocodile and the new Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize for short film went to Italy’s Jonas Carpignano with A Ciambra. British filmmaker Andrea Arnold presided over the jury for the 53rd edition of Critics’ Week (aka Semaine de la Critique) and Rebecca Zlotowski oversaw the panel for the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize. The Tribe and Hope are first features making them eligible for the Camera d’Or which gets handed out on Saturday.
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