REPORT: Next Step 2023 @ Settimana della Critica di Cannes
- Dieci giovani registi partecipano al programma della Settimana della Critica di Cannes per sostenere gli autori nel loro passaggio al lungometraggio
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For the tenth year, the Critics’ Week team led by Ava Cahen is running its Next Step programme (directed by Thomas Rosso) in order to help young filmmakers (previously selected to compete in Cannes’ parallel section) make the transition from short to full-length films. The programme notably includes a workshop (which kicked off on Saturday last week and is unspooling over seven days in Moulin d’Andé and then Paris), as well as a competition for the various projects screening on the Croisette in May (read our news on the 2023 champion, Liar Man by Greece’s Manolis Mavris).
Projects selected for previous editions (which have supported 88 projects hailing from 36 countries, 43% of which are steered by women directors) recently include How to Have Sex [+leggi anche:
intervista: Molly Manning Walker
scheda film] by Molly Manning Walker (awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize in 2023), The Settlers [+leggi anche:
intervista: Felipe Gálvez
scheda film] by Felipe Gálvez (Chile’s representative at next year’s Oscar for Best International Film), Power Alley [+leggi anche:
intervista: Lillah Halla
scheda film] by Lillah Halla, The King of Algiers [+leggi anche:
intervista: Elias Belkeddar
scheda film] by Elias Belkeddar, The Permanent Picture [+leggi anche:
intervista: Laura Ferrés
scheda film] by Laura Ferrés and Sky Peals [+leggi anche:
intervista: Moin Hussain
scheda film] by Moin Hussain.
Standing tall amongst this year’s ten Next Step authors are seven young European filmmakers: Spain’s Irati Gorostidi Agirretxe, Portugal’s Inês Teixeira, Croatia’s Andrea Slaviček, Switzerland’s Jela Hasler, Holland’s Vincent Tilanus, French-Swedish director Anton Bialas and France’s Nans Laborde- Jourdàa. The class is rounded off by China’s Zou Jing, Mexico’s Fernanda Tovar and Egypt’s Morad Mostafa. These many promising talents are set to benefit from screenplay, production and sales advice during the workshop, courtesy of Marie Dubas, Marcia Romano, Agathe Mauruc, Nadja Dumouchel, Matthieu Darras, Philippe Barrière, Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza.
The 2023 Next Step projects and their mini-synopses are as follows:
Femminielli – Anton Bialas (France/Sweden)
Production: Apaches Films (France)
Telling the story of a baroque nightclub in Paris, “Le Paradis”, whose seedy underbelly is swollen with countless creatures of the night who seek shelter, far from the uniformity of broad daylight, under the watchful eye of the master of the house, the flamboyant and decadent Bernadino Femminielli. But, the city of Paris - lead by a capitalistic and self-righteous elite – is looking to do away with the city’s most eccentric characters, including the patrons of “Le Paradis”. In this all-out war, Bernardino, his lover Johnny, dissolute Mila, and old crone bar owner Mrs Ingrid Caven will find themselves at the very core of this matrix which they refuse to leave behind them.
Anekumen – Irati Gorostidi Agirretxe (Spain)
Production: Apellaniz y de Sosa (Spain)
Co-Production: Señor y Señora (Spain)
It’s May 1978, Franco’s regime in Spain has come to an end and the excitement surrounding the transition to democracy is palpable. In the suburb of San Sebastian, a group of young factor workers ramp up the fight against a corporate agreement in the metalwork trade. When they lose the fight, the most radical, disillusioned members quit their jobs at the factory and trial a new kind of spiritual collaboration in the remote community of Anekumen. But their aspirations come up against profound contradictions which makes them question the ideal they’re pursuing.
To Put Out One Fire – Jela Hasler (Switzerland)
Production: Langfilm (Switzerland)
Twenty-seven-year-old idealist Anna has just completed her postgraduate degree and is now kicking off her professional career in the office of Urban Greening in Zurich. It’s here that she meets 55-year-old Granit, who’s no stranger to physical labour in his work with trees. He sees Anna as yet another academic come to implement change that’s bound to fail, but the young woman shows goodwill and enthusiasm. Ultimately, they must learn to understand and to live with one another, despite their different ideologies.
Nous Brûlons – Nans Laborde-Jourdàa (France)
Production: Avenue B Productions (France)
An ABC of mad love comprising eight stories which revolve around the mania involved in and addiction to love, the film takes us on a journey, presenting us with a Viscount from Béarn who falls in love with his mother-in-law in 1572 to tragic effect, a feverish meeting between a shepherd and his lover in a foundry, and an obsessive and threatening fan of a classical dancer.
Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore – Morad Mostafa (Egypt)
Production: Bonanza Films (Egypt)
Co-Production: Film Clinic (Egypt), Nomadis Images (Tunisia), Dulac Productions (France)
Aisha, a 26-year-old Somali woman, lives and works in Ain-shams, a neighbourhood in Cairo with a large African migrant community. The authorities’ indifference to violent tensions between Egyptians and various African nationalities has allowed different gangs to seize control of the neighbourhood. And the situation quickly turns sour after one of them offers Aisha security in exchange for a favour.
Luna on Two Planets – Andrea Slaviček (Croatia)
Luna, a young, absent-minded photographer, lives somewhere between fantasy and reality, and juggles several day jobs in the hope of landing her dream role. Something of an expert in bad decisions and outlandish encounters, she navigates a chaotic, almost surrealist life with her two sidekicks, Nicolas and Max.
Under My Skin – Inês Teixeira (Portugal)
Production: Terratreme Films (Portugal)
Seventeen-year-old Matilde returns to her grandmother’s house in Serra do Açor for the summer holidays. It’s here that she meets Pedro, a handsome young man ten years her senior. They soon grow attracted to one another, but when they meet again in Lisbon, the age difference is suddenly a problem and their relationship becomes complicated. After spending the night at Pedro’s, Matilde discovers he hasn’t been entirely honest with her.
Dovetail - Vincent Tilanus (Netherlands)
Production: Room For Film (Netherlands)
Openly gay teenager, 17-year-old Tommy, is about to go on a 6-week-long road trip across the USA with his family to celebrate his parents’ wedding. In the weeks leading up to the trip, however, Tommy learns that his father Abel has been hiding past relationships with men. This revelation shatters the family unit, and Tommy is forced to navigate emotional chaos and frenzied decisions which will reshape his family’s future.
Una chica triste – Fernanda Tovar (Mexico)
Production: Colectivo Colmena (Mexico)
Co-Production: Promenades Films (France)
Paula and La Maestra, two 16-year-old Mexican teenagers, are the best of friends but also fierce competitors on their respective swimming teams. When Paula is raped at a party, however, sports rivalry takes a back seat. After hearing about the attack, La Maestra intends to avenge her friend in her own way, and the situation quickly spirals out of control.
A Girl Unknown – Zou Jing (China)
Production: Memoria Films (China/France)
Painting the portrait of a young Chinese woman from the age of six through to thirty, living in three different families, this film tells the story of entire generations of girls who were abandoned in China between the 1980s and the 2000s. It’s also an intimate coming-of-age story exploring existential pain, self-discovery, and how we learn to love.
(Tradotto dal francese)
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