Monday, April 20, 2015

The 54th Semaine de la Critique announces lineup

On the poster of the 54th edition of La Semaine de la Critique, the actress Lou de Laâge embraces the open horizon in front of her. This wonderful energy and the amazing life force it carries embody the strong desire leading us to discover the new breath of fresh air in cinema worldwide.
Key figures

We received 1750 short films and 1100 feature films. Among the 11 feature films in the selection, 9 are first films and 2 are second films.

The 10 short films in competition

The short film committee, coordinated by Fabien Gaffez, selected ten films, ten stunningly diverse cinema promises. Childhood is at the core of Varicella by the Italian Fulvio Risuleo, Command Action by the Brazilian João Paulo Miranda and Everything Will Be Okay by the German director Patrick Vollrath. Ramona by the Romanian Andrei Crețulescu and Too Cool for School by the American Kevin Phillips are brand new visions of the genre film.

Two young women face immigration hardship in Love Comes Later by the American Sonejuhi Sinha, whereas the boys in Boys by the Swedish Isabella Carbonell haven’t got a clue about love. The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might by the Indonesian Lucky Kuswandi plays on the association of playful pleasure with lecherous pleasure.

The two French shorts maliciously dialogue through their titles: Monsters Turn Into Lovers by Yann Delattre and The Dragon’s Demise by Marina Diaby. The first delicately opposes the fragility of love to the harsh reality, while the latter elegantly mingles family drama with strangeness generated by a fine touch of burlesque.

La Semaine de la Critique is a hub for emerging directors and it will continue to accompany these 10 talents by offering them to take part in the new program NEXT STEP , a training and supporting workshop which sets the path to feature film.

And talking about feature films, there will be two highlights this year: the opening film of course and a first French film that will be presented as a special screening.

Les Anarchistes by Elie Wajeman will be screened at the Opening night of this 54th edition. The film speaks of engaged rebellious youth. With this very contemporary film and following Alyah, the filmmaker takes us back to the times of the anarchists, amongst the descendants of the Paris Commune. It will be the film’s thrilling leads, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Tahar Rahim, first collaboration.

Louis Garrel’s first movie, Les Deux Amis, seduced us and charmed us with the elegant direction and its freedom, oscillating between light tones and more serious ones. The pleasure of this funny and delicious film irradiates from the wonderful complicity shared by the three actors: Louis Garrel, Vincent Macaigne and Golshifteh Farahani.

7 feature films in competition

Sleeping Giant , the first film by the Canadian director Andrew Cividino, beautifully unfolds the complicated ties connecting three teenagers on holidays on a lake shore. Surrounded by the magnificent and imposing nature, they defy its laws, just like they defy the ones imposed by the other giants, the adults, who they are very suspicious of.

After the highly praised El estudiante, Argentinian director Santiago Mitre comes back with Paulina (La patota), the splendid portrait of an dedicated woman, having to face her own beliefs. By following her frantic journey, the film is also a reflexion, both luminous and intelligent, on politics and justice.

The American-Italian filmmaker Jonas Carpignano, last year’s winner of the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize for his short A Ciambra , comes back with his first feature film, Mediterranea. The film tells the story of two African immigrants who reach the Italian coast. Together, they will attempt to adapt to this new life in which they will have to go different paths in order to achieve their personal goals. The journey of these two friends tackles the exile issue, the hopes and disappointments that come along with it.

Krisha is an American indie gem signed by Trey Edward Shults. This first film from a young wonder director plunges us in the middle of a bitter family conflict, mainly embodied by non professionals actors. Krisha is the caustic portrait of a woman under influence, certainly a new exciting and audacious cinema experience.

Clément Cogitore’s first film is very unique compared to what French cinema usually offers. The Wakhan Front is the daily account of French soldiers sent in Afghanistan, isolated in the middle of the desert and experiencing mysterious disappearances. In this strange circumstances, they will acknowledge what the power of faith is. Carried by Jérémie Renier, this bewitching film gathers the raising talents of French cinema Kévin Azaïs, Swann Arlaud and Finnegan Oldfield.

César Augusto Acevedo’s first film Land and Shade takes place in a sugarcane plantation in Colombia. It is a slice of life, torn between the age-old ties to this land and the urge to leave it behind. The sharp sense of the location and the space, driven by the masterful direction, leads us to a time in which the bodies take root.

Dégradé, a black comedy by the two Palestinian brothers Arab and Tarzan Nasser, is shot in the Gaza Strip, where the directors live. The film’s cheery nerve draws an extremely vivid portrait of women trapped in a beauty salon. Outside, the madness of men is raging. This is an offbeat and raw look on people living in an asphyxiated territory. The film is a great opportunity to admire once again the performance of the magnificent Hiam Abbass.

Closing feature film

For the closing ceremony, we fell under the spell of a comedy, enchanted also by the soundness of its vision. Learn by Heart is the first feature film by the French director Mathieu Vadepied, who was previously discovered by La Semaine de la Critique for his short. This mischievous tale set in the suburbs of Paris is the coming-of-age of two children, split between what they are taught in school and their own strange and - to say the least - startling experiences. These two children, personified by staggering actors, will bring their fresh and affectionate breath of air to close the 54th Semaine de la Critique.

The ten short films and the seven feature films in competition will be submitted to the attentive eye of the Jury President of La Semaine de la Critique. The actress and director Ronit Elkabetz will award the Nespresso Grand Prize and the France 4 Visionary Award for feature films and the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize for short films. La Semaine de la Critique will take place in Cannes, between May 14th and May 22nd.


4 Feature films in special screenings, 7 feature films in competition and
10 short and medium-length films in competition


Opening Film
The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes) Elie Wajeman 2nd

Special Screenings
Coin Locker Girl HAN Jun-hee 1st
Les Deux Amis Louis Garrel 1st

Closing Film
Learn by Heart (La Vie en grand) Mathieu Vadepied 1st


Dégradé Arab et Tarzan Nasser 1st
Krisha Trey Edward Shults 1st
Mediterranea Jonas Carpignano 1st
The Wakhan Front (Ni le ciel ni la terre) Clément Cogitore 1st
Paulina (La patota) Santiago Mitre 2nd
Sleeping Giant Andrew Cividino 1st
La tierra y la sombra (Land and Shade) César Augusto Acevedo 1st


Alles Wird Gut (Everything Will Be Okay) Patrick Vollrath
Boys (Pojkarna) Isabella Carbonell
Command Action João Paulo Miranda Maria
La Fin du dragon (The Dragon’s Demise) Marina Diaby
The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might Lucky Kuswandi
Jeunesse des Loups-Garous (Monsters Turn Into Lovers) Yann Delattre
Love Comes Later Sonejuhi Sinha
Ramona Andrei Crețulescu
Too Cool for School Kevin Philipps
Varicella (Chickenpox) Fulvio Risuleo


The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes) by Elie Wajeman
2015 l World Premiere l 1h35 | France | 2
Paris 1899. Corporal Jean Albertini, an orphan of humble origins, is chosen to infiltrate a band of anarchists. For him, it's a chance to move up the ranks. But forced to compromise without respite, Jean is increasingly divided. On one hand, he delivers incriminating intelligence reports to his superior, Gaspar. On the other, he feels himself developing genuine feelings for the anarchists.
With: Tahar Rahim, Adèle Exarchopoulos , Swann Arlaud, Guillaume Gouix, Karim Leklou, Sarah Le Picard, Cédric Kahn, Emilie De Preissac
Production: 24 MAI PRODUCTION, Lola Gans
Co-production: FRANCE 2, Valérie Boyer; MARS FILMS, Stéphane Célérier
Distribution: MARS FILMS, Stéphane Célérier
Sales: WILD BUNCH, Esther Devos
Press: André-Paul Ricci, Tony Arnoux ( /

Coin Locker Girl by HAN Jun-hee
2015 l World Premiere l 1h54 | South Korea | 1st FILM
Only after her birth, Il-young gets abandoned in a coin-locker box #10 of a subway station. Eight years later, she is sold off to Chinatown, to a woman named as Mom. Mom rules over Chinatown and has taken in useful children like Il-young as family. Mom is ready to do anything that is profitable but Il-young thinks Mom the only home for her and grows up to become Mom’s most useful child. One
day, when Il-young is sent to collect interest from those who made loan from Mom’s money, she encounters with Suk-hyun who treats her like no other person she’d met before. Suk-hyun who is the son of a heavy debt owner, introduces Il-young to a warm and hospitable world, different from what her Mom has shown her. For the first time, Il-young becomes curious about the outside life of Chinatown.
Avec : KIM Hye-soo, KIM Ko-eun
Production : Pollux Pictures, KIM So-young
Ventes : CJ Entertainment, Hawon KIM

Les Deux Amis by Louis Garrel
2015 l World Premiere l 1h40 | France | 1st FILM
Clément, a cynical and sweet melancholic film extra, is madly in love with Mona, a salesgirl in a sandwich bar. Mona has a secret that makes her mysterious and intangible. When Clément is desperate to win her heart, Abel, his best and only friend, comes to the rescue. The two friends set off in the adventure of conquering her. But 3 is a restless number.
With: Golshifteh Farahani, Vincent Macaigne, Louis Garrel
Production: LES FILMS DES TOURNELLES, Anne-Dominique Toussaint
Co-production : ARTE FRANCE CINEMA, Olivier Père
Distribution: AD VITAM, Alexandra Henochsberg
Sales: INDIE SALES, Nicolas Eschbach
Press: Monica Donati assistée de Cilia Gonzalez-Maurin ( /

Learn by Heart (La Vie en grand) by Mathieu Vadepied
2014 l World Premiere l 1h33 | France | 1st FILM
Adama is a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother in a small two-room flat in Bondy, in the suburbs of Paris. He fails in school, although he is a bright pupil. Because of an unexpected event, he will reverse the situation with Mamadou, who is younger than him.
With: Balamine Touré, Ali Bidanessy, Guillaume Gouix, Joséphine De Meaux
Léontina Fall, Adama Camara, Aristide Tarnagda, Bakary Dramé, Kévin Wamo
Production: UNITE DE PRODUCTION, Bruno Nahon, Caroline Nataf
Co-production: TEN FILMS, Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
Distribution: GAUMONT, Françoise Dauvergne
Sales: GAUMONT, Céline Gazet
Press: André-Paul Ricci, Tony Arnoux ( /
Internationale press: GAUMONT, Sophie Bollotte (

7 films selected out of 1100 screened

Dégradé by Tarzan and Arab Nasser
2015 l World Premiere l 1h25 | Palestine - France - Qatar | 1st FILM
Gaza Strip, nowadays. Christine’s beauty salon is heaving with female clients: a bitter divorcée, a religious woman, a lunatic addicted to prescription drugs and a young bride-to-be among others. But their day of leisure is disrupted when gunfire breaks out across the street. A gangland family has stolen the lion from Gaza’s zoo, and Hamas has decided it’s time to settle old scores. Stuck in the salon, the women start to unravel...
With: Hiam Abbass, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Manal Awad, Mirna Sakhla, Dina Shuhaiber, Victoria Balitska
Production: LES FILMS DU TAMBOUR, Marie Legrand, Rani Massalha; MADE IN PALESTINE
PROJECT, Rashid Abdelhamid
Co-production: FULL HOUSE, Laurent Baudens; MILLE ET UNE FILMS, Gilles Padovani; ABBOUT
PRODUCTIONS, Georges Schoucair
Distribution: LE PACTE, Xavier Hirigoyen
Sales: ELLE DRIVER, Eva Diederix, Adeline Fontan Tessaur
Internationale press: Martin Marquet (

Krisha by Trey Edward Shults
2015 l International Premiere l 1h23 | USA | 1st FILM
After years of absence, Krisha reunites with her family for a holiday gathering. She sees it as an opportunity to fix her past mistakes, cook the family turkey, and prove to her loved ones that she has changed for the better. Only, Krisha’s delirium takes her family on a dizzying holiday that no one will forget.
With: Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Bill Wise, Chris Doubek, Olivia Grace Applegate, Alex
Dobrenko, Bryan Casserly, Chase Joliet, Augustine Frizzell
Production: HOODY BOY PRODUCTIONS,Trey Edward Shults, Justin R. Chan, Wilson Smith, Chase
Joliet, Jonathan R. Chan, JP Castel
Sales: George Rush
Internationale press: BRIGADE, Adam Kersh (

Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano
2015 l World Premiere l 1h47 | Italy - France - USA - Germany | 1st FILM
Ayiva recently left his home in Burkina Faso in search of a way to provide for his sister and his daughter. He takes advantage of his position in an illegal smuggling operation to get himself and his best friend Abas off of the continent. Ayiva adapts to life in Italy, but when tensions with the local community rise, things become increasingly dangerous. Determined to make his new situation work he attempts to weather the storm, but it has its costs.
With: Koudous Seihon, Alassane Sy
Production: MEDITERRANEA FILM, Jonas Carpignano, Jon Coplon, Gwyn Sannia, Jason Michael
Berman, Chris Columbus, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin
Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

The Wakhan Front (Ni le ciel ni la terre) by Clément Cogitore
2015 l World Premiere l 1h40 | France - Belgium | 1st FILM
Afghanistan 2014. While troops are on the verge of withdrawal, Captain Antarès Bonassieu and his section are assigned a control and surveillance mission in a remote valley of the Wakhan, on the Pakistan border. Despite their determination, Antarès and his men gradually lose control of what is supposedly a calm sector. Then one September night, soldiers in the valley mysteriously disappear.
With: Jérémie Renier, Swann Arlaud, Kévin Azaïs, Marc Robert, Finnegan Oldfield, Clément Bresson, Sâm Mirhosseini
Production: KAZAK PRODUCTIONS, Jean-Christophe Reymond, Amaury Ovise
Co-production: TARANTULA, Joseph Rouschop, Valérie Bournonville
Distribution: DIAPHANA, Alicia Hernanz
Sales: INDIE SALES, Nicolas Eschbach
Press: Marie Queysanne assitée de Charly Destombes (

Paulina (La patota) by Santiago Mitre
2015 l World Premiere l 1h43 | Argentina - Brazil - France | 2nd FILM
Paulina, who is 28, gives up a brilliant lawyer career, in order to dedicate herself to teaching in a depressed region in Argentina. In a rough environment, she sticks to her teaching mission and to her political engagement, accepting to sacrifice her private life. Upon her arrival, she is violently attacked by a gang of young people, some of them being her own students. Despite the trauma, Paulina will strive to stand for her convictions.
With: Dolores Fonzi, Oscar Martinez, Esteban Lamothe, Cristian Salguero
Production: LA UNION DE LOS RIOS, Agustina Llambi Campbell, Fernando Brom, Santiago Mitre, Lita Stantic, Laurent Baudens, Gaël Nouaille, Walter Salles, Ignacio Viale
Co-production: FULL HOUSE, Didar Domehri
Distribution: AD VITAM, Grégory Gajos
Sales: VERSATILE, Violaine Pichon
Press: Marie Queysanne assitée de Charly Destombes (

Sleeping Giant by Andrew Cividino
2015 l World Premiere l 1h29 | Canada | 1st FILM
Teenager Adam is spending his summer vacation with his parents on rugged Lake Superior. His dull routine shatters when he befriends Riley and Nate, smart aleck cousins who pass their ample free time with debauchery and reckless cliff jumping. The revelation of a hurtful secret triggers Adam to set in motion irreversible events that test the bonds of friendship and change the boys forever.
With: Jackson Martin, Reece Moffett, Nick Serino, David Disher, Erika Brodzky, Rita Serino, Katelyn McKerracher, Kyle Bertrand, Lorraine Philp
Production: FILM FORGE PRODUCTION INC., Karen Harnisch
Co-production: HAWKEYE PICTURES, Aeschylus Poulos

La tierra y la sombra (Land and Shade) by César Augusto Acevedo
2015 l World Premiere l 1h37 | Colombia - France - Netherlands - Chile - Brazil | 1st FILM
Alfonso comes back to his home after 17 years of absence because of the serious sickness his son is suffering. When he arrives he discovers that everything he once knew is no longer there, as the single crop planting of sugar cane took over all the farms of the region. The only thing that is almost as intact as his memory of it is his home. Alfonso must face that he returns much like a stranger, as his family long before stopped waiting for his return.
With: Haimer Leal (ALFONSO), Hilda Ruiz (ALICIA), Edison Raigosa (GERARDO), Marleyda Soto (ESPERANZA), José Felipe Cárdenas (MANUEL)
Production: BURNING BLUE, Jorge Forero
Co-production: CINE SUD PROMOTION, Thierry Lenouvel; TOPKAPI FILMS, Frans Van Gasel;
RAMPANTE CINE, Giancarlo Nazi; PRETA PORTÊ FILMES, Juliana Vicente
French press: CINE SUD PROMOTION, Claire Viroulot (

10 films selected out of 1750 screened

Alles Wird Gut (Everything Will Be Okay) by Patrick Vollrath
2015 l International Premiere l 30’ | Germany - Austria
Everything Will Be Okay begins qui harmless. A weekend-father picks up his eight-years-old daughter Lea. It pretty much seems like every second weekend. But after a while Lea can‘t help but feeling that something is just not right. So begins a fatal journey, leading to an inevitable catastrophe.
With: Simon Schwarz, Julia Pointner, Marion Rottenhofer, Daniel Keberle
Production: Patrick Vollrath
Sales: Patrick Vollrath

Boys (Pojkarna) by Isabella Carbonell
2015 l International Premiere l 19’ | Sweden
Markus is a boy in an institution for young sex offenders. There is no physical intimacy to be found there so the inmates violently grab and punch one another instead. Markus's only friend inside is the unpredictable Tobias. Markus's trial approaches and he won't be able to keep his actions secret much longer.
With: Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs, Markus Lindgren, Rainer Gerdes, Kristoffer Trigell
Production: DOPPELGANGER AB, Jörgen Andersson, Kjell Åhlund
Co-production: FILM I VÄST, Am Ekström; PONYTAILSOUND, Calle Budde Roos
Distribution: SWEDISH FILM INSTITUTE, Theo Tsappos

Command Action by João Paulo Miranda Maria
2015 l World Premiere l 14’ | Brazil
A boy is buying vegetables for his family in a street market but suddenly something changes in the way.
With: David Martins, Cláudio Lopes, João de Lima Neto, Luana Menezes
Production: GRUPO KINO-OLHO, Fernanda Tosini, Claudia do Canto

La Fin du dragon (The Dragon’s Demise) by Marina Diaby
2015 l World Premiere l 26’ | France
In ten days, the treatments that keep the mother of Marianne, Mike and Angèle artificially alive will be over. Ten days? Marianne never grasped the fact that it would take so long. Luckily, Angèle works hard to wrap everything up and Mike is trying especially hard not to rub anyone the wrong way. Even the dog has never been so affectionate.
With: Émilie Caen, Noémie Rosset, Alban Guyon, Lamine Diaby
Production / Distribution / Sales: 10:15!PRODUCTIONS, Sebastien Haguenauer

The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might by Lucky Kuswandi
2015 l World Premiere l 25’ | Indonesia
Two preteen boys discover their sexuality and the relation between power and sex, in the awkward social setting of a sleepy small town with a military base. David is the big-shot boastful son of a highranking officer, while Aseng's family is an ethnic minority tobacco merchant who sells bootleg liquor.
With: Atreyu Artax Moniaga, Kemas Fauzan, Stefanny Marcelina Sugiharto, Surya Saputra, Christine
Harsojo, Haris Zuhri
Production: BABIBUTAFILM, Meiske Taurisia, Edwin, Tunggal Pawestri

Jeunesse des Loups-Garous (Monsters Turn Into Lovers) by Yann Delattre
2015 l World Premiere l 22’ | France
Between her work, boyfriend and Japanese flatmate, Julie’s life just runs its course. Without her noticing Sébastien even though he puts all his timidity and awkwardness into charming her. They may get together one night without knowing what tomorrow morning will bring.
With: Nina Meurisse, Benoit Hamon, Mathieu Barbet, Akihiro Hata
Production: STROMBOLI FILMS, Juliette Sol, Alice Bégon
Sales: AGENCE DU COURT MÉTRAGE, Florence Keller

Love Comes Later by Sonejuhi Sinha
2015 l World Premiere l 10’ | USA
America, the land of opportunity, attracts immigrants from every corner of the world. An ambitious immigrant, Riz, works at a small motel in pursuit of her American dream. When an unexpected discovery confronts Riz with the consequences of being undocumented, she is forced to make a life changing decision.
With: Vega Tamotia, Diane Guerrero, Sarita Choudhury, Samrat Chakrabarti
Production: Sonejuhi Sinha, Charlotte Rabate
Co-production: FINAL CUT USA INC., Stephanie Apt

Ramona by Andrei Crețulescu
2015 l World Premiere l 20’ | Romania
One girl. One car. One night. No coincidence.
With: Rodica Lazăr, Dorian Bogută, Andi Vasluianu, Serban Pavlu, Ana Ularu
Production: KINOSSEUR PRODUCTIONS, Andrei Crețulescu; DEFILM, Radu Stancu ; WE ARE
BASCA, Claudiu Mitcu
Distribution: KINOSSEUR PRODUCTIONS, Codruța Crețulescu
Sales: KINOSSEUR PRODUCTIONS, Codruța Crețulescu

Too Cool for School by Kevin Philips
2014 l World Premiere l 11’ | USA
An apathetic teenager with sex on his brain decides to ditch school. The decisions he makes culminate into something of a waking nightmare, tearing apart any facade he has put on and revealing his true youth.
With: Tristan Leabu, Ester Zyskind
Production: NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH FILMS, Richard Peete
Co-production: WAYS & MEANS, Jett Steiger

Varicella (Chickenpox) by Fulvio Risuleo
2014 l World Premiere l 14’ | Italy
Chickenpox is a very small thing if you’re young. But if you’re a grown-up it can be very dangerous. When Mommy finds out, she starts worrying about Carlo, her son, who still isn’t sick. He’s growing fast, something must soon be done. She needs to find a way to ‘make him’ sick. But does Daddy agree?
With: Giordana Morandini, Edoardo Pesce, Enea De Angelis
Production: REVOK S.r.l., Donatello Della Pepa, Loretta Isotton, Fulvio Risuleo

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