73rd edition | Update : 19.03.21 . 4:35 PM

Debut films, first successes and names to remember.

Debut films, first successes and names to remember

Debut films, first successes and names to remember © RR

They made their directorial debuts at a time when cinemas were closing and festivals were being postponed, yet their names have been able to shine in France and on the international stage as clear signs of the dynamic future of cinema. From short to feature films, over the past two years, the Festival de Cannes has had the great pleasure of discovering and showcasing particularly promising debut productions. Giving us even more reason to eagerly await the reopening of cinemas so we can go and watch them.

First, the feature films...

Georgian director Dea Kulumbegashvili’s debut film DASATSKISI (Beginning) was highly praised at the San Sebastian Festival, where it received the Golden Shell for Best Film, as well as the awards for Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

After claiming four awards in Angoulême, including the Valois de diamant for Best Film, as well as Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Music, Samir Guesmi’s debut film IBRAHIM went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Festival Premiers Plans in Angers.

Charlène Favier’s SLALOM received the Ornano Valenti Award in Deauville and the Valois Magelis from Francophone students in Angoulême, while the Lumière Award for Best Female Performance was presented to the film’s leading actress: Noée Abita. Selected at numerous festivals, it also won the Just Film Grand Prize at the Tallinn Film Festival.

For his directorial debut, Viggo Mortensen masterfully produced FALLING. This critically-acclaimed drama was the winner of the Sebastiane Award at the San Sebastian Festival and has now been nominated in the Best International Film category at the Goya Awards.

Nicolas Maury’s first creation as a director has also attracted much attention. His bitter-sweet comedy GARÇON CHIFFON (My Best Part) has been nominated in the Best First Feature category at the César Awards 2021.

Cartoonist Aurel delivers us a striking performance with his first animated film JOSEP, which has continued to earn itself numerous awards and nominations since its selection at Cannes 2020. To date, JOSEP has won the European Film Award for Best Animated Film, the Louis Delluc Prize for Best First Film and two Lumière Awards for Best Animation and Best Music, while this year it has already been nominated in the Best Animated Film category at the César Awards 2021. It has also just been honoured with the Press and Audience Awards at the My French Film Festival.

A number of other debut films have similarly attracted much attention and received awards at festivals where they were shown to the public and press: THE DEATH OF CINEMA AND MY FATHER TOO by Dani Rosenberg, CASA DE ANTIGUIDADES (Memory House) by João Paulo Miranda Maria, GAGARINE by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh, YA MA FEN ZONG (Striding Into the Wind) by Wei Shujun, and SEIZE PRINTEMPS (Spring Blossom) by Suzanne Lindon.

And now the short films...

We all remember that Egyptian director Sameh Alaa was awarded the Short Film Palme d'or in 2020 with I AM AFRAID TO FORGET YOUR FACE at the Cannes 2020 Special.

Meanwhile, other films to look out for include CATDOG by Ashmita Guha Neogi, JAI MOJA GRUBA DUPA (My Fat Arse and I) by Yelyzaveta Pysmak, CONTRAINDICATII (Contraindications) by Lucia Chicos, and I WANT TO RETURN RETURN RETURN by Elsa Rosengren, which were among the film school works to stand out after receiving the top 3 Cinéfondation Awards.

The 2019 Short Film Competition also highlighted various up-and-coming talents discovered by the Festival.

Shortlisted among the fictional short films for the Oscars 2021, THE VAN by Erenik Beqiri was in competition for the Palme d’or at the Festival de Cannes 2019. The Albanian director is currently producing his first feature film entitled AFTER DARK at the Résidence du Festival.

Nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category at the César Awards 2021, Agnès Patron’s L’HEURE DE L'OURS (And Then the Bear) was also presented in Competition at Cannes in 2019.

The Festival would like to wish everyone the best of luck, following in the footsteps of director Siân Heder who, after winning the 3rd Cinéfondation Award in 2006 with her film school creation MOTHER, has just triumphed at the Sundance Film Festival with her film CODA, which earned 4 awards: the Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award, Award for Best Ensemble and Directing Award.

Share the page