20th anniversary line-up includes films from the UK’s Andrew Kötting, German Ramon Zurcher, Moroccan Hicham Lasri and Franco-American Gabriella Kessler.

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France’s Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema (ACID) has unveiled its 20th anniversary Cannes selection.

As in previous years, the Paris-based initiative, aimed at giving greater visibility to new talent, will showcase nine features.

Among them is Andrew Kötting’s documentary Swandown, a poetic travelogue charting his journey in a swan pedalo from his seaside hometown of Hastings to East London in the lead-up to the Olympics last year.

Other titles include German Ramon Zurcher’s oddball comedy The Strange Little Cat, which premiered in the Berlinale’s Forum earlier this year and won the top prize at the Copenhagen International Film Festival last week.

Moroccan Nabil Ayouch-protégé Hicham Lasri will also reveal his latest film, C’est eux les chiens, following on from his critically-acclaimed 2011 feature The End.

Paris-based Afghan Barmak Akram’s Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) about a forbidden relationship between a waiter and a young woman, will also screen.

The film won the Sundance award for screening writing in the World Cinema, dramatic category this year. Doc & Film International is handling sales.

The remaining five French features include Two Autumns, Three Winters (Deux automnes, trois hivers), the latest film from Sébastien Betbeder who was in Toronto last year with Les Nuits avec Théodore, a love story set against the backdrop of the Butte-Chaumont park in Paris. His latest picture revolves around a man and woman whose lives collide when the former takes up running.

Other French-produced titles include Braddock America from Jean-Loic Porton and Gabriella Kessler, a Franco-American documentary capturing the rise and fall of a depressed Rust Belt town in Pennsylvania.

Launched in 1993, ACID’s Cannes initiative has showcased 200 films on the Croisette to date including early works of Serge Bozon, Lucas Belvaux, Alain Gomis, Claire Simon, Djinn Carrénard, Pierre Schoeller, Vincent Dieutre, Arnaud et Jean-Marie Larrieu, Rachid Djaïdani, Nicolás Pereda, Ursula Meier, Avi Mograbi, Yolande Moreau and Gilles Porte.

Beyond Cannes, ACID also presents the films in 40 festivals in France and abroad. The programme is also shown in 30 cinemas in Paris in the autumn.

ACID’s 20th anniversary has been feted worldwide over the past six months with special programmes at the Cinematheque Francaise, the Festival du Réel, the BAMcinématek in New York and Festival of Independent Film of Buenos Aires.


  • Two Autumns, Three Winters, (Deux automnes, trois hivers), Sébastien Betbeder (France)
  • Au Bord du Monde, Claus Drexel (France)
  • La Bataille de Solferino, Justine Triet (France)
  • Braddock America, Jean-Loic Porton, Gabriella Kessler (France)
  • C’est eux les chiens, Hicham Lasri (Morocco)
  • O Heureux Jours, Dominique Cabrera (France)
  • Swandown, Andrew Kötting (UK)
  • The Strange Little Cat, Ramon Zürcher (Germany)
  • Wajma, Barmak Akram (France, Afghanistan)