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2015 Critic’s Week: Wajeman’s Les Anarchistes, Louis Garrel’s Debut, SXSW Winner Krisha & Mediterranea Make the Cut

Lead by Charles Tesson, the Cannes Critics’ Week programming team (the competition section that specializes in feature film work from 1st, and 2nd time filmmakers) have revealed the make-up of the 54th edition and it’ll be Elie Wajeman‘s sophomore film Les Anarchistes (our #63 pick in our most anticipated foreign films for 2015) that will open the section. Wajeman who makes his second trip to Cannes (he premiered Aliyah at the Directors’ Fortnight in 2012) collected Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color) and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) for a set in 1899 Paris, France tale about how a poor and orphaned person’s choice to infiltrate a group of anarchists.

Joining his father on the Croisette and in the directing side of things, Louis Garrel gets a special screening status for Les Deux Amis – which stars the actor alongside Vincent Macaigne and About Elly starlet Golshifteh Farahani.

Of the seven selected films in their competition we find Argentinian director Santiago Mitre’s sophomore film, Paulina. His 2011 debut feature, The Student played extremely well on the fest circuit garnering fest invites from BAFICI (Buenos Aires), Locarno, TIFF and the NYFF.

Among those also competing for the Camera d’Or (best first feature in all sections of the festival) we find a pair of Americans in Trey Edward Shults who doubled-down in awards at SXSW with the Jury Prize and Audience award for Krisha, and we also find Jonas Carpignano who was on our radar with Mediterranea (#88 Most Anticipated) – he actually returns to the section having won with a short that was selected last year.

Here are the selections below:

Special Screenings
Les deux amis” – Louis Garrel (France), first feature
Coin Locker Girl” – Han Jun-hee (South Korea), first feature

Closing film
Learn by Heart” – Mathieu Vadepied (France), first feature

Feature competition
Dégradé” — Arab & Tarzan Nasser (Palestine, France, Qatar)
Krisha” — Trey Edward Shults (USA)
Mediterranea” — Jonas Carpignano (Italy, France, USA, Germany)
Paulina” — Santiago Mitre (Argentina, Brazil, France)
Sleeping Giant” — Andrew Cividino (Canada)
La Tierra Y La Sombra (Land and Shade)” — Cesar Augusto Acevedo (Colombia France, Netherlands, Chili, Brazil)
The Wakhan Front (Ni Le Ciel Ni La Terre)” — Clément Cogitore (France, Belgium)

Short-film competition:
Alles Wird Gut (Everything Will Be Okay) – Patrick Vollrath (DE/AT)
Boys (Pojkarna) – Isabella Carbonell (SE)
Command Action – João Paulo Miranda Maria (BR)
The Dragon’s Demise – Marina Diaby (FR)
The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might – Lucky Kuswa (ID)
Monsters Turn Into Lovers – Yann Delattre (FR)
Love Comes Later – Sonejuhi Sinha (US)
Ramona – Andrei Crețulescu (RO)
Too Cool for School – Kevin Philips (US)
Varicella (Chickenpox) – Fulvio Risuleo (IT)

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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