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Act 2 for the Next Step Lab


- Ten directors have an appointment at the programme initiated by the Cannes Critics’ Week to support auteurs during their transition to feature films

Act 2 for the Next Step Lab
Director Isabella Carbonell (© Chloé Vollmer-Lo)

A pivotal platform for discovering new international talents, the Cannes Critics’ Week has always paid particular attention to short films, and in this way it has unearthed filmmakers such as Andrea Arnold, François Ozon, Gaspar Noé and Justin Kurzel. In order to aid this tropism and help young directors to reach the difficult milestone of preparing their feature debut, in 2014 the Cannes parallel section created the Next Step Lab, an initiative that has already borne fruit, as the first year enabled such names as Jonas Carpignano to surface; his feature debut, Mediterranea [+see also:
film review
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
, has been raking in accolades since its May premiere on the Croisette.

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Sunday 6 December will see the start of the five-day workshop of the second year of the Next Step Lab, organised by the Critics’ Week in partnership with the TorinoFilmLab. Among the ten selected filmmakers are Sweden’s Isabella Carbonell, Italy’s Fulvio Risuleo, Germany’s Patrick Vollrath, Romania’s Andrei Cretulescu, and France’s Cécile Ducrocq and Yann Delattre. The workshop will allow the directors to discuss their projects with eight consultants and three experts, benefit from advice on their screenplays, and work on their development strategies. Interestingly, these sessions will include a brainstorming session about film music.

Les Enfants by Isabella Carbonell recounts the story of Frère, a young deaf boy, and Sœur, who communicate via a language that they created themselves and that only they can understand. Fleeing the war, they get to Sweden and a society that rejects them. They then learn to eke out a living by getting involved in illegal-goods and people trafficking (produced by Stella Nova).

Fulvio Risuleo is preparing Look Up, the story of a young man who is tired of his day-to-day life and who one day discovers that an "elevated" world exists atop the rooftops of Rome (produced by Revok Film and Cineorama).

Patrick Vollrath plans to shoot his 7500 in a single sequence-shot, set exclusively in a cockpit and featuring just two characters: an ordinary man who is confronted with an extraordinary situation, and a young boy who tries to carry out an attack (Augenschein Filmproduktion and Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion).

Andrei Cretulescu is working on the feature-length version of his short film Kowalski. His main character is a "cleaner" who never fails, hardly ever speaks and whose address is not known by anyone, with one exception... (Kinosseur Productions).

Love on the Beach by Cécile Ducrocq tells the story of the encounter between a young anthropologist and a humanitarian engineer somewhere in the jungle in Senegal during their research into the Dowayos, a reclusive people who are nevertheless among the happiest in the world... thanks to the high frequency of their sexual relations (produced by Année Zéro).

Blending comedy and film noir, The Hidden Side of Life by Yann Delattre tells the story of an idle young man who falls in love with a woman who has just accidentally killed his friend... (Stromboli Films).

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(Translated from French)

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