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Cannes 2016: Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers and a Bear

Based on a series of stories that Kanuk founder Louis Grenier (Québecois winter parka company) collected on his many trips up north, producer Roger Frappier (Maelstrom, Ville-Marie) might have optioned the story for a buck but it took well over a decade for Two Lovers and a Bear to materialize. Denis Villeneuve was originally attached to helm, but this would be passed onto a filmmaker who for the better part of his filmography is used to exotic settings (Tunisia, Congo et al.). Oscar nominated filmmaker Kim Nguyen actually worked on the film prior to War Witch and finally discovered his way into the project during a layover at the Amsterdam intl. airport. Selected for this year’s Directors’ Fortnight section alongside Pablo Larrain (the two helmers were both nominated for the Best Foreign category at the Oscars) his latest features Dane DeHaan as Roman (he discovered him when watching Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines), Tatiana Maslany as Lucy and a Gordon Pinsent who is credited as the voice work for the polar bear – which we imagine has more of a significant presence than the black bear found in The Revenant. This is the filmmaker’s first time at Cannes in a section (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) that has been home for several Quebecois filmmaker. Here are some comments made during the local Montreal press conference.

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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