Grand Paris

Source: Acid, Ecce Films

Grand Paris

France’s Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema (ACID) has unveiled the nine features it will showcase in its parallel Cannes section, running May 18 to 26.

Seven titles will world premiere including French director Damien Manivel’s fourth feature Magdala. Inspired by the final days of the biblical figure of Mary Magdalene, it stars his long-time muse Jamaica-born, France-based choreographer Elsa Wolliaston.

Manivel’s last film, Takara, The Night I Swam, co-directed with Kohei Igarashi, premiered in Venice Horizons in 2017.

Further French selections include Martin Jauvat’s Grand Paris, following two young slackers who find a mysterious artefact on a construction site for a new outer Paris metro line, and Lucas Delangle’s debut feature The Strange Case Of Jacky Caillou about a young man with healing powers.

International fiction titles comprise Swiss director Jan Gassman’s drama 99 Moons, exploring modern notions of love, and Japanese director Juichiro Yamasaki’s third feature Yamabuki about three intersecting lives in a small mining town in the mountains of western Japan.  The latter title premiered in the main competition at Rotterdam earlier this year. 

Three documentaries world premiere: Spanish filmmaker Ainara Vera’s French-Greenlandic co-production Polaris, about two sisters on very different trajectories after difficult childhoods; Denis Gheerbrant and Lina Tsrimova’s The Hill, revolving around people who scavenge a hillside rubbish tip in Kyrgyzstan and French director Fanny Molin’s Atlantic Bar about life inside a local bar threatened with closure.

The line-up also features Russian director Marusya Syroechkovskaya’s lost generation portrait How To Save A Dead Friend which recently debuted in competition in Switzerland’s Visions du Réel festival, garnering a special mention. 

The selection was overseen by 15 filmmakers and has a special focus on independent films that have yet to secure French theatrical distribution and first features.

Filmmakers to have shown their early works in ACID since its launch in 1992 include Kaouther Ben Hania, who is the head of the Cannes Critics’ Week jury this year, Claire Denis, Jim Cummings and Jude Radu.