Directors’ Fortnight Winners: ‘Wolf And Sheep’, ‘Mercenaire’, Solveig Anspach’s ‘L’Effet Aquatique’ – Cannes

UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Following the Critics’ Week prizes unveiled yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival, winners in the Directors’ Fortnight section have now been announced as have the Cinéfondation laureates. Although the Fortnight is a non-competitive sidebar, partners of the Société des Réalisateurs Français, the French directors’ guild that organizes the event, do attribute honors.

The SACD Prize, handed out by France’s equivalent of the Writers Guild in conjunction with the Fortnight, has gone to L’Effet Aquatique by late director Solveig Anspach who passed away last year. Special mention was given to French drama Divines by Houda Benyamina.

effet aquatiqueAnspach, an American-Icelandic filmmaker who worked largely in France, is well-known for such films as Haut Les Coeurs! and Back Soon. She lost a battle with breast cancer last August. Her final film, L’Effet Aquatique, is a love story set between France and Iceland.

The CICAE Art Cinema Award was presented to first-time Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat for Wolf And Sheep. Set in rural Afghanistan, the coming-of-age tale centers on a group of shepherd children. This prize went last year to eventual Oscar nominee, Embrace Of The Serpent.

The Label Europa Cinemas prize was awarded to drama Mercenaire by France’s Sacha Wolff. This is a debut feature about a young man from New Caledonia who defies his father to go play rugby in France. Left to his own devices on the other side of the world, he ends up on the path to becoming a man in a world where there is a price to be paid for success. Also notable that Oscar nominee Mustang was the winner of this award last year.

The short film Illy Award went to Chasse Royale by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret with special mention for Zvir, directed by Miroslav Sikavica.

The Fortnight has increasingly emerged as an alternative to the main competition. Artistic Director Edouard Waintrop has strengthened and reinvigorated the offerings. The higher profile among them this year included Laura Poitras’ Risk; Pablo Larrain’s Neruda; Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers And A Bear; and Paul Scrader’s Dog Eat Dog.

Meanwhile, the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury headed by Naomi Kawase handed out its prizes earlier today. The section is made up of 18 student films.

First Prize
Anna; directed by Or Sinai
The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Israel

Second Prize
In The Hills; directed by Hamid Ahmadi
The London Film School, United Kingdom

Joint Third Prize
A Nyalintas Nesze; directed by Nadja Andrasev
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Hungary

La Culpa, Probablemente; directed by Michael Labarca
Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela

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