Other winners included Mehmet Can Mertoğlu’s Albüm and Wregas Bhanuteja’s Penjak.


Oliver Laxe’s Mimosas has won the Nespresso Grand Prize at the 55th Critics’ Week – the Cannes Film Festival sidebar devoted to first and second features.

The story follows a caravan escorting a dying sheikh across the Atlas Mountains to fulfil his dying wish.

France-born, Spain-based Laxe won the €15,000 ($17,000) prize, which has previously been awarded to Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noe and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu among others.

The film, which was shot in Morocco and took part in Qumra 2016, is Laxe’s second film after You Are All Captains, which screened in Directors’ Fortnight in 2010, winning the FIPRESCI prize

Mimosas is a Spain-Morocco-France-Qatar co-production and is sold by Luxbox.

Albüm, from Turkish filmmaker Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, won the France 4 Visionary Award, which rewards “outstanding creativity and innovation”.

The black comedy centres on an Antalya-based couple who fake a pregnancy to keep their future adoption a secret.

The Turkey-France-Romania co-production was developed at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

The Match Factory handles sales and it will be distributed in France by Le Pacte.

Short film Prenjak, from Indonesia’s Wregas Bhanuteja, won the Leica Cine Discovery Prize.

Partner awards

One Week And A Day (Shavua Ve Yom) from Israeli-US director Asaph Polonsky won the Gan Foundation Support For Distribution, which helps distribute a first or second feature in France in an effort to promote new filmmakers.

The black comedy centres on a grieving father, who finishes a week of mourning for his late son and is urged by his wife to return to their routine. He instead gets high with a young neighbour and sets out to discover there are still things in life worth living for. New Europe Film Sales handles the film, which will be distributed in France by Sophie Dulac.

Davy Chou and Claire Maugendre, co-writers of Diamond Island, won the SACD (Authors Society) Award.

The drama, sold by Les Films du Losange, grapples with Cambodia’s journey to industrialisation and chronicles the journey of a teenager from his small village to the big city to take a construction job, reuniting with his estranged older brother in the process.

Finally, Antoine de Bary’s L’Enfance D’un Chef won the Canal+ Award for Short Film, which sees the broadcaster buy rights for the winning film to screen it on TV.

In total, 1,100 features were submitted for consideration for this year’s Critics’ Week, with seven features selected for the line-up.

The jury was presided over by French actress and director Valérie Donzelli and comprised Alice Winocour, Nadav Lapid, David Robert Mitchell and Santiago Mitre.

Critics’ Week awards

Prizes awarded by Critics’ Week jury

Nespresso Grand Prize
by Oliver Laxe

France 4 Visionary Award
by Mehmet Can Mertoğlu

Leica Cine Discovery Prize for short films
by Wregas Bhanuteja

Awards given by partners

Gan Foundation Award for Distribution
Sophie Dulac, French Distributor
for One Week And A Day (Shavua Ve Yom) by Asaph Polonsky

SACD Award
Davy Chou and Claire Maugendre
co-writers of Diamond Island

Canal+ Award for short films
L’Enfance D’un Chef
by Antoine de Bary