'This Life Of Mine'

Source: The Party

‘This Life Of Mine’

Directors’ Fortnight has unveiled the selection for its 56th edition heavy on films from first-time US filmmakers, South American titles, and talent including Isabelle Huppert, Michael Cera and Agnès Jaoui.

Artistic director Julien Rejl revealed the line-up at a press conference in Paris on Tuesday (April 16) for the Cannes parallel section run by French directors guild the SRF.

Scroll down for the full selection

After undergoing a complete rebranding for last year’s edition complete with new artistic director Rejl and a new more inclusive female-forward name in French to La Quinzaine des Cinéastes, this year’s selection includes eight feature films directed or co-directed by women among the 21 in selection, compared to six titles in last year’s edition.

For the first time this year, Directors’ Fortnight will host an audience award, dubbed the People’s Choice prize. It is supported by the Fondation Chantal Akerman, which will award the winning filmmaker a €7,500 prize, to be presented at the closing ceremony.

Directors’ Fortnight will open with This Life Of Mine, French director Sophie Fillières’ posthumous comedy drama shot just before her untimely death last summer and completed in post-production by her family. It follows a middle-aged woman who travels to the Scottish Highlands to escape the harsh realities of her life and stars Agnès Jaoui, Philippe Katherine, Valérie Donzelli, Edouard Sulpice, Angelina Woreth and Emmanuel Salinger.

The closing night film is Jean-Christophe Meurisse’s Plastic Guns about a man arrested during a trip to Denmark, suspected by local police of being a wanted murderer accused of killing his wife and three children.

The line-up also includes a special screening of Chantal Akerman’s American Stories: Food, Family and Philosophy and nine short films.

The Americas en force

US films are well-represented in the selection with four titles including three first features.

Tyler Taormina’s Christmas Eve In Miller’s Point is a holiday-themed comedy about four generations gathering for what may be the last in their family home. It stars Michael Cera, Elsie Fisher, Francesca Scorsese, Ben Shenkman, Gregg Turkington and Sawyer Spielberg.

Taormina is also a producer on Carson Lund’s Eephus, a comedy drama about a pair of New England rec-league teams who face off for the last time before their beloved field is bulldozed. Both titles are produced by independent L.A.-based production collective Omnes Films.

Also from across the Atlantic are Ryan J. Sloan’s first film Gazer and India Donaldson’s Sundance breakout debut feature Good One, a coming-of-age drama about a 17-year-old who sets off on a backpacking trip with her father and his friend as emotions escalate.

Canadian filmmaker Matthew Rankin follows up TIFF Midnight Madness and Berlinale Forum title The Twentieth Century with surreal comedy Universal Language, whose protagonists find a sum of money frozen in the winter ice as space, time and personal identities interweave.

Argentina will be represented with Hernán Rosselli’s Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed about a crime family on the outskirts of Buenos Aires running a clandestine gambling business that oscillates between documentary and fiction to depict the heyday and downfall of the family.

Other South American selections include Eryk Rocha and Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha’s documentary The Falling Sky from Brazil about indigenous peoples and their relationship to nature and threats of deforestation, and Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s Chilean film The Hyperboreans which blends stop motion, puppetry and science fiction.

Global highlights

Among the French titles in selection are Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel’s romantic thriller Eat The Night, Thierry de Peretti’s drama A Son Image, a portrait of a young photographer for a local newspaper whose life intertwines with current events from the 1980s through the dawn of the 21st century, and Patricia Mazuy’s La Prisonnière de Bordeaux which stars Isabelle Huppert and Hafsia Herzi as two women who develop an unlikely friendship when their husbands are inmates in the same prison.

Other European titles include Jonás Trueba’s Spanish The Other Way Around and Paulo Carneiro’s Portuguese hybrid documentary Savanna And The Mountain.

From Japan comes Yôko Kuno and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s animation Ghost Cat Anzu about a young girl whose grandfather sends a capricious feline spirit to care for her, and Desert Of Namibia from Yôko Yamanaka whose Amiko screened in Berlin in 2018.

Chiang Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin’s first feature Mongrel is set in the mountains of Taiwan about an undocumented migrant acting as a caregiver for rural elderly and disabled families.

Other titles include Mahdi Fleifel’s Palestinian-Danish co-production To A Land Unknown, Hala Elkoussy’s Egyptian East Of Noon, an allegory set in a dystopian enclave about women’s quest for freedom, and Indian filmmaker Karan Kandhari’s Sister Midnight which blends fantasy, comedy and revenge movie tropes to tell the story of women in modern India. It is produced by the UK’s Wellington Films and Griffin Pictures, and co-produced by Sweden’s Filmgate Films.

Directors’ Fortnight is non-competitive but as well as the new audience award, there are a number of partner prizes, including the SACD prize for best French-language feature and the Europa Cinemas’ award for best European film.

Directors’ Fortnight feature line-up 2024

Nationality listed corresponds to a film’s director 

*first film

This Life Of Mine (Fr) – Opening Film
Dir. Sophie Fillières 

In His Own Image (Fr)
Dir. Thierry de Peretti 

Christmas Eve In Miller’s Point (US)
Dir. Tyler Taormina 

Desert Of Namibia (Jap)
Dir. Yôko Yamanaka

East Of Noon (Egy)
Dir. Hala Elkoussy 

Eat The Night (Fr)
Dirs. Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel 

Eephus (US)*
Dir. Carson Lund 

Gazer (US)*
Dir. Ryan J. Sloan 

Ghost Cat Anzu (Jap)
Dirs. Yôko Kuno & Nobuhiro Yamashita 

Good One (US)*
Dir. India Donaldson 

Mongrel (Tai)*
Dirs. Chiang Wei Liang & You Qiao Yin 

La Prisonnière de Bordeaux (Fr)
Dir. Patricia Mazuy 

Savanna And The Mountain (Port)
Dir. Paulo Carneiro 

Sister Midnight (Ind)
Dir. Karan Kandhari 

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed (Arg)
Dir. Hernán Rosselli 

The Falling Sky (Braz)
Dirs. Eryk Rocha & Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha 

The Hyperboreans (Chi)
Dirs. Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña 

The Other Way Around (Sp)
Dir. Jonás Trueba 

To A Land Unknown (Pal-Den)
Dir. Mahdi Fleifel 

Universal Language (Can)
Dir. Matthew Rankin 

Plastic Guns (Fr) – Closing Film
Dir. Jean-Christophe Meurisse 

Special Screening:

American Stories: Food, Family and Philosophy (Belg)
Dir. Chantal Akerman