Veteran American documentary maker to receive directors’ award at Cannes

Published on:

The Directors’ Fortnight, now in its 53rd edition, has announced its official selection of films to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. This year’s Carrosse d’Or winner, American director Frederick Wiseman, will present his 2018 film Monrovia, Indiana July 7. The Fortnight will also highlight its efforts to bring cinema to the public.

the Golden Coach This prize has been awarded since 2002 by the filmmakers of the Guild of French Directors in recognition of the specific talents and innovation of fellow filmmakers from around the world.

Previous winners include John Carpenter (2019), Alain Resnais (2014), Jane Campion (2013), Agnès Varda (2010), David Cronenberg (2006) and Clint Eastwood (2003).

In a press release, the GuildThe board of directors of, wrote that Frederick Wiseman’s “rich body of work” had left an “indelible mark in the history of cinema”.

Known for his observation of social institutions in the United States, such as hospitals, high schools, and police departments, Wiseman lets the images speak, avoiding over-storytelling.

The first feature film produced by Wiseman was The fresh world (1963). This was followed by Titicut Folies in 1967, which he produced and directed. He pursued a prolific career, producing and directing all of his works.

His most recent film was Town hall, which premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival last September.

Signs of hope

“No one has ever taken such a patient, humane, curious, understanding, empathetic and politically insightful look at the people and institutions that help, retain or reveal them,” the directors said of Wiseman’s career. , addressing him in their letter.

“Everywhere, in every setting, you have painted incredibly compelling portraits of people, doing their best, wherever they are in life. Small steps that offer hope for the older ones, the many facets of humanity on either side of a doctor, mayor, or police officer’s office, beating heart of living spaces, from parks to ski resorts, from universities to backstage theaters. “

Wiseman also directed and got involved in theater, in the United States and in France.

His 2018 film about a small American farming community, Monrovia Indiana, will be screened during the opening ceremony of the Fortnight on July 7, followed by a masterclass.

Among the 23 feature films of the Fortnight selection, seven are debut films, and 22 are from directors who have never been to Cannes before, among them the French director Yassine Qnia, with his film From low floor (A better future).

A name familiar to French audiences is writer / director Emmanuel Carrère with his film Ouistreham (Between Two Worlds), the opening opus of the Directors’ Fortnight, and its first film since 2005. It is based on the autobiographical experience of journalist Florence Aubenas, who lived six months in anonymity among workers affected by the crisis economic. Juliette Binoche plays the main role, surrounded by an amateur cast.

Actress Luàna Bajrami, who stood out as the 2019 winner Portrait of the girl on fire (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), will present her first feature film entitled Luaneshat e kodres (The hill where the lionesses roar).

Nine short films are on the program, as well as a special screening of The Remembrance Part II by British director Joanna Hogg. The highly anticipated sequel to the 2019 hit drama stars Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton, and Charlie Heaton in the lead roles.

My Legionnaire (Our Men) by Rachel Lang is the closing film of the Fortnight.

Reach out to the community

La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs also prides itself on educational initiatives and community outreach as part of a program called the The Fortnight in Actions (La Quinzaine en Action), with activities throughout the year throughout France.

The program aims to introduce cinema to the population, in particular to young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods who do not have access to culture for geographic or financial reasons.

“Reduce inequalities in access to culture and reduce the exclusion felt by part of the population. Culture is not a luxury, it is essential to our well-being,” say the organizers of the Fortnight.

The films in the selection are screened followed by discussions with the directors.

During the festival, numerous screenings, workshops, readings and performances are planned at the Théâtre de la Licorne in the La Bocca district of Cannes.

One of these events will feature actresses recruited to interpret screenplays written by a group of eight women, supported by the Parcours de Femmes association, which professionally puts women back on their feet after a difficult period.

Young graduates of the CineFabrique group of the National Film School of Lyon will produce three of the scripts, with the collaboration of CinéFab and France Télévisions.

To maintain the festive spirit, the Fortnight also organizes reruns of its selected films in cities such as Brussels (in August), Marseille, and Paris (in September).

Poster designed by photographer and filmmaker Daniel Mercadante, is part of his series “The Enchanted Forest”, chosen for the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. © Directors’ Fortnight

Comments are closed.