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CANNES 2024 Critics’ Week / Awards

A Girl Unknown wins the Next Step Award at Cannes


- CANNES 2024: The project by China’s Zou Jing has taken home the prize handed out by the Critics’ Week

A Girl Unknown wins the Next Step Award at Cannes
The director of A Girl Unknown, Zou Jing (© Julia Hervouin/Critics’ Week)

Since 2014, the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival has accompanied its talents on their journey as they make the transition from shorts to feature films, via its Next Step programme. Since 2019, the workshop offered every year to the selected participants (see the news on the latest intake) has been enriched by a competition designed to single just one of them out. This year, it was the project A Girl Unknown by China’s Zou Jing (based in both Shanghai and Los Angeles), staged by Paris-based outfit Memoria Films (which has French, Chinese and Singaporean co-founders), which was crowned as the winner by a jury comprising Roxane Arnold (Pyramide Films), Marion Delord (Hildegarde), Markus Duffner (Locarno Pro) and Ioanna Stais (Heretic).

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The project’s storyline paints the portrait of a young Chinese woman from the age of six through to her thirties, as she lives in three different families. It tells the story of entire generations of abandoned girls in China from the 1980s to the 2000s. It is also an intimate coming-of-age tale that explores existential pain, self-discovery and how one learns to love.

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(Translated from French)

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