In the first group of significant prizes to come as the Cannes Film Festival winds down, the Critics’ Week sidebar named its winners this evening. Mimosas, the sophomore feature from Spain’s Oliver Laxe, scored the Nespresso Grand Prize, while Turkish comedy Album was honored with the France 4 Visionary Award. In prizes given by the section’s partners, crowd-pleaser One Week And A Day by Israeli-American Asaph Polonsky was also highlighted.
Mimosas is a mountain odyssey with mystical elements which follows a caravan escorting a sheikh through the Moroccan Atlas so that he can be buried near his loved ones. The quest takes a turn when the elderly and ailing sheikh dies en route.
Turkish entry Album, by Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, is the director’s feature debut. It’s the story of a couple in their late 30s who set out to fake a photo album of a pseudo-pregnancy period in order to prove their biological tie to the baby they’re planning to adopt.
Prenjak, by Indonesia’s Wregas Bhanuteja, won the Leica Ciné Discovery Prize for a Short Film
From the sidebar’s partners, the GAN Foundation Award for Distribution went to Polonsky’s feature debut One Week And A Day. The dramedy stars Shai Avivi, sometimes referred to as the Larry David of Israel. He plays Eyal, who, after a week of sitting Shiva following the death of his son, begins getting high with a young neighbor and sets out to discover that there are still things in his life worth living for. The film received largely positive reviews after its screening last weekend; the premiere was met with a five-minute standing ovation.
The SACD Prize, which is handed out by the French film screenwriters guild went to Diamond Island by Cambodian helmer Davy Chou. This is the first narrative feature from the director. It follows an 18-year-old who leaves his village to work on the construction sites of Diamond Island, a project for an ultra-modern paradise for the rich, and a symbol of tomorrow’s Cambodia. There, he comes reunites with his charsimatic elder brother who went missing five years earlier and introduces him to an exciting new world.
France’s Antoine de Bary scooped the Canal Plus Award for a Short with Birth Of A Leader.