The Cinéfondation Residence participants pitch their projects at Cannes
by Valérie Ganne
- CANNES 2019: Two of the 12 directors who presented the feature-length projects they are developing at the Residence have received grants from the CNC
They are young and talented, they hail from all over the world, and thanks to the Cinéfondation, they already have a foot in the door at the Cannes Film Festival. Two classes of filmmakers from the festival’s Residence in Paris (the autumn 2018 session and the ongoing one) presented their feature-length projects in front of an audience of industry professionals on Thursday 16 May. The 12 directors got stuck into the very difficult exercise of making a ten-minute pitch, in English, in order to give the low-down on their projects. Some of these projects were autobiographical (Zaire in the 1990s, war-torn Kabul), portraying young or teenage heroes (a female Afghani student and her incarcerated mother, a teen faced with the rise of fascism in Georgia, and another adolescent who has to cope with her mother’s mental illness in Puerto Rico, with no one to support her). These young auteurs have no qualms about making their heroes a well-digging father from Ukraine, a shy little girl in a mining town out in the Chilean desert, or a young American girl who goes with her mother to bury her father in Illinois.
The 12 Residence participants and their projects are: Machérie Ekwa Bahango (Congo) with Zaïria, Elena Lopéz Riera (Spain) with El agua, Marian Mathias (USA) with Runner, Carla Simón (Spain) with Alcarràs, George Sikharulidze (Georgia) with Panopticon, Tommaso Usberti (Italy) with The Most Intense Days of Guido Kalb, Aboozar Amini (Afghanistan) with Ways to Run, Alireza Ghasemi (Iran) with Raha, Álvaro Aponte-Centeno (Puerto Rico) with Sarah, Diego Céspedes (Chile) with The Mysterious Gaze of the Flamingo, Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk (Ukraine) with Pamfir, and Vinko Tomicic (Chile) with Perros. For a detailed breakdown of the projects that were pitched on the Cinéfondation website, please click here and here.
El Agua by Spaniard Elena Lopez Riera broaches the topic of the disappearance of a young girl one stormy summer in a small village in the south of Spain. Meanwhile, Perros by Vinko Tomicic paints the portrait of an orphaned shoe-shine boy in La Paz (Bolivia), who thinks he has recognised one of his customers as his father. Both auteurs received a grant for their projects, valued at €5,000, courtesy of the CNC. They were handed out after the pitches by a jury made up of directors Julie Bertuccelli and Marcela Said, producer Sylvie Pialat, and Rajendra Roy, chief curator of the film department at MoMA. Incidentally, Marcela Saïd is an alumna of the Cinéfondation Residence, as are Nadine Labaki and Lukas Dhont (serving on the Un Certain Regard jury), as well as Jonas Carpignano and Ciro Guerra (on the Critics’ Week jury). Corneliu Porumboiu and Jessica Hausner, who are in the Official Selection this year, are also Residence alumni. Clearly, you can’t move for them!
The Cinéfondation, which was created by the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, therefore consists of much more than just the annual Residence in Paris. It also organises the Atelier at every edition of the Cannes Film Festival, attended by 15 directors selected from all over the world by Georges Goldenstern, its director. They are invited to the festival to meet professionals in order to top off the funding for their films (a total of 600 meetings took place at this edition). In addition, an entire programme is dedicated to them during the second week of the gathering, which takes place in the Buñuel Theatre and presents 15-20 shorts and medium-length films from film schools all over the globe. This year, director Claire Denis is chairing the jury. The Cinéfondation is financed by the festival and, mainly, through private sponsorship.
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.