Cannes Critics' Week offers a lavish week of exposure for first and second-time filmmakers. Known colloquially around the Croisette as Semaine de la Critique, the sidebar (May 15-23) boasts seven film premieres in competition, plus two out-of-competition special screenings and an Opening and Closing Night under charming Artistic Director Charles Tesson.
This year's lineup looks to be more dominated by genre fare than usual, with firsttime Danish director Jonas Alexander Arnby's "When Animals Dream," about a teenage female werewolf, in the competition. The supposedly feminist film has already been sold in the US to RADiUS-TWC.
"It Follows," director David Robert Mitchell's followup to "The Myth of the American Sleepover," will also compete. Starring Maika Monroe of "Labor Day," and Keir Gilchrist, the film has been pitched as a coming-of-age nightmare about "sex, love and the unseen horrors that follow us." Some sort of monster/creature is involved, so we'll have to wait and see what sort of "unseen horrors" are in store for us in May.
Typically, genre films play well in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, where Ari Folman's "The Congress" opened last year (that lineup is forthcoming). So it will be exciting to see how these films play during Critics' Week, which veers toward young, ambitious directors. Jeff Nichols, Juan Antonio Bayona and Gaspar Noe are among genre directors to come out of the Semaine.
Prizes include the Grand Prix and the France 4 Visionary Award. First features in Critics' Week, and in other sidebars, collectively run for the festival's esteemed Camera d'Or.
Full Critics' Week lineup below. Here's the Cannes lineup as it stands so far.
"Making Love" (Djinn Carrenard) Second film (France)
"Breathe" (Melanie Laurent) Second film. (France)
"The Kindergarten Teacher" (Nadav Lapid) Second film. (Israel)
"Darker Than Midnight" (Sebastiano Riso) First film. (Italy)
"Gente de bien" (Franco Lolli) First film. (Colombia)
"Hope" (Boris Lojkine) Second film. (France)
"It Follows" (David Robert Mitchell) Second film. (U.S.)
"Self Made" (Shira Geffen) Second film. (Israel)
"The Tribe" (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) First film. (Ukraine)
"When Animals Dream" (Jonas Alexander Arnby) First film. (Denmark)
"Hippocrate" (Thomas Lilti) Second film. (France)