2022 Cannes Film Festival Predictions – Critics’ Week
There have been some past editions that have been French/Euro heavy, but for the most part, the programme Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique) has seen a mix of international films and as of late, favored first time efforts over sophomore features. The golden seven selections are also complemented by approximately five films – two to three special screenings, an opening and closing film featuring bigger names or benefitting from a larger budget. So we’re looking at around fifteen possible features and a slew of short and medium sized films. Charles Tesson passed over Artistic Director reigns to Ava Cahen — so this will be the first Cahen edition. Here are twenty films that could be in the mix for the 61st edition.
Amore Mio – 🇫🇷
Actor Guillaume Gouix moved behind the camera for his directorial debut this past August for a road movie with wife-actress Alysson Paradis, Elodie Bouchez and Félix Maritaud. Co-written by Gouix, Camille Lugan and Fanny Burdino, Amore Mio is said to center around themes of grief, sisterhood and reconciliation with a child (Viggo Ferreira-Redier) in tow.
Sales: Urban Distribution
Avant l’effondrement – 🇫🇷
Alice Zeniter & Benoit Zeniter
Author-turned first filmmaker Alice Zeniter (joined by hubby Benoit) got behind the camera in August of 2021 for Avant l’effondrement – a ticking time clock type of narrative. Shot in Brittany with Niels Schneider, Ariane Labed, Souheila Yacoub, Myriem Akhheddiou and Séphora Pondi, this is set in dystopian version of Paris, and sees Tristan receive an anonymous letter containing a positive pregnancy test. Potentially suffering from a fatal and incurable genetic illness, Tristan becomes obsessed with the idea of finding the woman who sent him this test. Disquietude, morality and the circle of life are likely theme cards here.
Blaze – 🇦🇺
Del Kathryn Barton
Aussie-based artist Del Kathryn Barton merged live action, VFX and stop-motion animation techniques for her directorial debut which went into production in late 2020. Co-written by Barton and Huna Amweero, Blaze sets Simon Baker, Yael Stone, Josh Lawson and newcomer Julia Savage in this rough-coming-of-age film that deals with violence, isolation and imagination sending the film’s young protagonist back to a safe space that includes a magic dragon who has been her companion since childhood.
Bruxa – 🇵🇹
Cristèle Alves Meira
Formerly titled Alma Viva, Cristèle Alves Meira embarked on her feature film journey last summer working with a project she workshopped as part of Critic’s Week Next Step programme (2016 edition). Bruxa explores the origins of the film’s young protagonist – a coming-of-age tale about ones roots, family, the spirits that surround us in a backdrop of Portugal. Prior to this, the Portuguese filmmaker presented her shorts Campo de Víboras (2016) and Invisível Herói (2019) in the section.
Daughter of Rage – 🇳🇮
Long time in post production, 2022 will finally be the year of release for Daughter of Rage. Laura Baumeister highly anticipated film has already won industry awards such as the WIP Latam Industry Award via the San Sebastian Film Festival. Set in garbage dump of Nicaragua’s capital city, a mother and daughter struggle to survive collecting recyclable materials – but the focus and heart of the film will be via the POV of the child. We expect some miserablism to be combined with determination, and consciously choosing your terms when neglect is all that you know. This was filmed in 2019.
Disco Boy – 🇮🇹
Ultimately a project that might favor a Venice drop as production ended in late October, after more than a decade of short films output in both fiction and docu forms, Italian director Giacomo Abbruzzese shot his feature debut Disco Boy over the course of a month in the backdrops of France and Poland. Franz Rogowski leads the international cast of Morr N’Diaye, Laetitia Ky, Leon Lucev, Matteo Olivetti, Robert Wieckiewcz and Mutamba Kalonji in a tale of two destinies — a full portrait on the human condition here is likely to include notions of survivalism, social injustice and the conflicts brought about by immigration. Abbruzzese attended the 27th edition of Cannes The Residence for this project back in 2013.
Falcon Lake – 🇨🇦
Charlotte Le Bon
With about a decade’s worth of acting under her belt (most recently seen in Sundance preemed Fresh), Charlotte Le Bon returns to her native Quebec last summer to direct her feature debut with local actresses Sara Montpetit, Monia Chokri and Karine Gonthier-Hyndmanadmin surrounding France’s Joseph Engel. Inspired by Bastien Vives’ graphic novel “Une Soeur”, Falcon Lake was written by Le Bon and François Choquet and essentially sees a Paris based pre-teen spend his summer holidays in Canada’s French province cottage country and is tipped as a coming-of-ager type film where the pre-teen faces fears on different fronts and explores his sexuality in a rather unique dynamic. Le Bon saw her debut short break into Cannes Film Festival in 2018 – in the Talents Adami section.
Le Grand Marin – 🇫🇷
An actress who has had a noteworthy presence in Cannes dating back to Camera d’Or winner Freeze Die Come to Life (1989) to 2002’s Since Otar Left, 2012’s Amour, 2015’s My Golden Days and last year’s award-winner Compartment No. 6, Dinara Drukarova moved behind the camera on her debut feature — an adaption of Catherine Poulain’s novel which she co-wrote with Raphaëlle Desplechin and Léa Fehner. Filming on Le Grand Marin began last June in Iceland with Dinara Drukarova toplining the drama with the rest of the cast comprised of the male thesps in Dylan Robert, Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Sam Louwyck, Hjörtur Jóhann Jónsson and Magne-Håvard Brekke. Essentially this sees the lead leave her life behind to go work in a fishing village in the far North — the prize being a new sense of self and freedom. This was the winner of Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma award in 2020.
Inside – 🇬🇷
Commercials and music video director Vasilis Katsoupis went into production on his feature fiction debut in Cologne (expect some NYC B-roll) this past summer with Willem Dafoe starring as a high-end art thief named Nemo who gets stuck in his own glue-trap of sorts in a luxury, high-tech penthouse. The Critics’ Week folks programmed Vivarium in 2019, and Inside sounds like a neat boxed in feeling once again. Written by Ben Hopkins (based on an original idea by Katsoupis), tipped as a psychological suspense drama — we might see Dafoe’s character reevaluate life choices and use his high skillset in some other capacity. Katsoupis previously directed docu item My Friend Larry Gus in 2015.
Lucky Girl – 🇺🇦
With about a decade’s worth of short film output, a 2018 Berlin preem directorial debut (When the Trees Fall) and script work on the Un Certain Regard selected Homeward (2019) by Nariman Aliev, Ukrainian filmmaker Marysia Nikitiuk is lining up for a possible Croisette showing this year. Selected for San Sebastian Film Festival’s WIP EUROPA in 2021, her sophomore feature is based on true events. Kseniia Khyzhniak toplines Lucky Girl — which traces the emotional free-fall of a TV star after she is diagnosed with cancer and loses an arm, until she accepts experimental treatment which makes her fight for her life. Perseverance, heart-wrenching life choices and reinvention look to be key themes here.
Marcel! – 🇮🇹
Known for breakout roles in The Son’s Room and The Best of Youth and more recently a supporting role in The Story of My Wife, actress Jasmine Trinca moved behind the camera last year in her native Italy for a drama that includes Alba Rohrwacher, Maayane Conti, Giovanna Ralli and tells the story of a young girl who vies for her mother’s affections with their pet dog. So we have a little bit of separation anxiety to possible explore here. Trinca’s 2020 short film debut Being My Mom was invited to Venice and Berlin and also starred Rohrwacher/Conti.
La Passagère – 🇫🇷
Successfully moving from film editor and award-winning short films filmmaker for the past decade, Héloïse Pelloquet began production on her feature debut this past April. Featuring Cécile de France, Grégoire Monsaingeon and Félix Lefebvre at the seaside backdrop of Pays de la Loire region, La Passagère revolves around a couple of fishermen who are joined on their island by a new apprentice in the middle of a raging storm. We can expect fireworks, finger-pointing and conflict which have nothing to do with what was caught at sea.
Sales: Wild Bunch International
Rodéo – 🇫🇷
Before production began on her feature debut, filmmaker Lola Quivoron immersed herself in the street dirt biker culture and community that is not unique to Baltimore. Written by Quivoron and Antonia Buresi, Rodéo follows Julia who moves from rebellious young adult into this burnt rubber world. Working with themes identification, sense of belonging, dedication no matter what the consequences are – this was shot in Bordeaux last summer and is comprised of non-actor cast lead by Julie Ledru, Yannis Lafki, Louis Sotton, Junior Correia and Ahmed Hamdi. Quivoron’s previous films includes the Locarno preemed short and a co-directed docu (Headshot).
Sales: Les Films du Losange
Sanctuary – 🇺🇸
Almost a decade after his feature film debut, Zachary Wigon finally moved into his sophomore project with Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott toplining what looks to be a conscious uncoupling on a non-couple psychological portrait with figurative stab-wounds. Written by long time indie film sound recordist, film writer and producer Micah Bloomberg, Sanctuary takes places over the course of one night in a single hotel room when a dominatrix and her wealthy client cut ties — and there is a lot more at play here. The thriller will possible bouts of jealous, passion and vengeance was shot in New York last year. Wigon’s The Heart Machine premiered at SXSW in 2014.
Saint Omer – 🇫🇷
Of all the films we’ve listed here we have the feeling that Alice Diop‘s fiction debut might be sought after by all sections on the Croisette. Production Saint Omer began May of last year with Kayije Kagame and Guslagie Malanda delving into a trial of unfathomable consequences — a 30-year-old novelist Rama attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman who stands accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter after abandoning her to the rising tide on a beach in northern France. Pulled from the headlines in 2013, Diop’s docu background will surely charge the feature with heavy catch-22 consequences — empathy and mystery are likely connected here.
Sales: Wild Bunch International
Summer to Come – 🇭🇺
György Mór Kárpáti
With about one decade’s worth of output which includes the Cinéfondation selected short Provincia (2014) and more recently his feature debut Guerilla which premiered at some 2019 Euro fests, György Mór Kárpáti recently saw his sophomore feature be selected for Les Arcs Film Festival’s Work in Progress and is likely going to land this year. Shot in August, Summer to Come reminds us that summer camps are can be a lieu to deal with some rather deep and complex real life situations that even adults find difficult to navigate. Two boys and a girl in a high school summer camp meet and – a year later, following the suicide of one of the boys, the remaining two return to the same place. Orsolya Bukovszky, Dániel Brezovszky and Ágoston Liber star in a film that looks at teenage suicide and perhaps discusses the complex aftermath and evolution of deeper affections and loss.
Superposition – 🇩🇰
Possibly not settling on Superposition as a final title choice, Karoline Lyngbye‘s directorial debut will nonetheless toss aside notions of Hygge with a psychological drama about a creative couple and their young son who find themselves deep in the woods, deep in thought and possibly deep in trouble. Expect a moody sound and visual board for actors Marie Bach Hansen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard to play with here in this proejct written by penned Lyngbye and Mikkel Bak Sørensen. Idealism, existentialism and the critical moment one realizes that we’re aren’t that special will likely be under the microscope here.
Tout Le Monde M’appelle Mike – 🇫🇷
Shot over the summer of 2019, there has been some significant post-production time put into this directorial debut. A first assistant director who most recently worked on Emily Atef’s Plus que jamais (actor Gaspard Ulliel final film performance), Guillaume Bonnier will likely finally premiere Tout Le Monde M’appelle Mike (Everybody Calls Me Mike) which stars Abdirisak Mohamed, Daphné Patakia and Pierre Lottin is a tale about boat life and moving in a zone controlled by Somali pirates. We imagine terror ensues but a more complex understanding of the why this happens and who is behind this allows for fodder for discussion and the man named Mike from Djibouti surely helps navigate a larger compass. This won the Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma award.
Un cœur en abîme – 🇫🇷
Guillaume Bureau‘s makes his first foray into feature filmmaking and is surrounded with a particularly strong trio of actors for some post World War I morally complex narrative period drama with themes of memory, love, loss and renewal all intertwined. Working with a much better French title of Un cœur en abîme (Loving Memories) was written by Bureau in collaboration with Robin Campillo and finds Leïla Bekhti, Karim Leklou and Louise Bourgoin dealing with the amnesia via three vantage points. Production ended in mid September so the Croisette is still a possibility.
Sales: Wild Bunch Intl.
Un monstre, moi aussi – 🇫🇷
Music video and short film director Edouard Salier moved into feature films sometime in 2020 for a narrative set in …2041 and plus the sci-fi film was filmed in 16mm and promises some glow in the dark elements. Louis Peres, Pablo Cobo and Marta Nieto star in Un monstre, moi aussi (Things Behind The Stars) which revolves around two brothers who are training to be astronauts but when they move into new dimensions we might be presented with ideas of contamination, infection, and bodily differences.
Sales: Pulsar Content
Come back next week for more 2022 Cannes Film Festival predictions:
Directors’ Fortnight – Monday
Un Certain Regard – Tuesday
Main Competition – Wednesday