Although the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes is non-competitive, prizes are awarded by its partners. Revealed today, ahead of the closing ceremony this evening, the Europa Cinemas Label nod for Best European Film went to Alice And The Mayor by Nicolas Pariser while the SACD Prize will be given to Rebecca Zlotowski’s An Easy Girl. There is no CICAE Art Cinema Award being presented in the Fortnight this year.
The independent Fortnight runs parallel to the main festival and is organized by France’s Directors’ Guild. It has evolved greatly in the past few years, becoming increasingly attractive to higher-profile filmmakers. This is the first year under new artistic director Paolo Moretti whose selection included The Lighthouse starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, which lit up the Croisette with Oscar buzz.
(Prizes awarded in the section today, however, are limited to French-Language, European and short films.)
Alice And The Mayor is the sophomore effort from French helmer Pariser whose first feature, The Great Game, won the prestigious Louis Delluc prize for a debut.
The story centers on Paul Théraneau (Fabrice Luchini), the mayor of Lyon who is in existential crisis. After 30 years in politics, he feels totally empty and devoid of ideas. As a fix for this problem, his aides bring a brilliant young philosopher, Alice (Anaïs Demoustier), into his inner circle.
The Europa Cinemas award was decided by a jury of four exhibitors. With it comes the support of the Europa Cinemas Network with additional promotion and incentives for exhibs to extend the film’s theatrical run.
The jury called it “a timely and very relevant look at the direction of European policies and politics — but never dry or didactic.” It’s sold internationally by Bac Films and produced by Bizibi.
Winning the French Writers’ Guild’s top prize, Zlotowski’s comedy/drama An Easy Girl centers on a Cannes teenager and the unforgettable summer she spends with her older cousin. This is her fourth feature and stars Mina Farid, Zahia Dehar, Benoit Magimel and Clotilde Courau
Also awarding prizes today is the Short Films and Cinéfondation jury, headed by Claire Denis. The Cinéfondation selection included 17 student films from 366 film schools around the world.
Un Certain Regard will be announced tomorrow and the main Cannes prizes are on Saturday night.
Here’s the list of winners from today:
EUROPA CINEMAS LABEL
Alice And The Mayor, dir: Nicolas Pariser
An Easy Girl, dir: Rebecca Zlotowski
ILLY SHORT FILM
Stay Awake, Be Ready, dir: Pham Thien An
Mano A Mano, dir: Louise Courvoisier (CinéFabrique, France)
Hiéu, dir: Richard Van (CalArts, U.S.)
JOINT THIRD PRIZE
Ambiance, dir: Wisam Al Jafari (Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, Palestine)
The Little Soul, dir: Barbara Rupik (PWSFTviT, Poland)