Cannes Film Fest 2017: Directors Fortnight

The Rider

The Directors Fortnight of the 2017 Cannes Film Fest also selected The Rider, the sophomore outing of Chinese helmer Chloe Zhao, whose feature debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, played at Sundance and Directors Fortnight in 2015.

“The Rider” tells the tale of a young cowboy who sets off to find a new identity in the American heartland after suffering a near-fatal head injury.

Other Titles:

Dumont’s Musical

Directors Fortnight will showcase two other vet French helmers: Bruno Dumont with his musical film Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc, and Philippe Garrel with L’amant d’un jour.

Dumont’s film charts Joan of Arc’s transition from peasant girl to holy warrior. Based on a play by Charles Péguy, “Jeanette” features an experimental electro-pop score by Igorrr. Dumont was at Cannes last year with “Slack Bay,” which competed in the official selection, and last attended Directors Fortnight with “Li’l Quinquin.”

Garrel’s L’amant d’un jour follows a young woman in her 20s who returns to her father’s home after breaking up with her boyfriend and finds out that he’s in a relationship with a woman her age. Garrel opened Directors Fortnight two years ago with “L’ombre des femmes.”

Southern Europe will also be well-represented with Leonardo Di Costanzo’s “The Intruder,” Natalia Santa’s directorial debut “La Defensa del Dragon,” Roberto De Paolis’s coming-of-age romance drama “Pure Hearts,” and Jonas Carpignano’s anticipated “A Ciambra,” based on his 2014 short, which won the Discovery award at Critics’ Week. A follow-up to Carpignano’s 2015 Cannes-selected feature “Mediterranea,” “A Ciambra” is produced by Sikelia Productions, the outfit jointly launched by RT Features, Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff.

Also playing are “Frost,” directed by veteran filmmaker Sharunas Bartas, and “I Am Not a Witch” directed by British-Zambian helmer Rungano Nyoni.

“Frost” follows a couple of young Lithuanians who volunteer to drive a cargo van of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and find themselves lost in the vast snowy lands of the war-torn Donbass region, which leads them to understand what it is like to live through war. Bartas’ previous film, “Peace to Us in our Dreams,” also played at Directors Fortnight in 2015. Vanessa Paradis stars in the film.

I Am Not a Witch

“I Am Not a Witch” turns on an 8-year-old girl living in a village who is accused of witchcraft following a minor incident and is exiled to a witch camp in the middle of a desert. Nyoni has directed or co-directed a flurry of critically acclaimed shorts, including the BAFTA-nominated “Mwansa the Great” and “Kuuntele,” which won Tribeca’s jury award. Kinology is selling “I Am Not a Witch.”

Other films set to play at Directors Fortnight include Indonesian helmer Surya Mouly’s “Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts,” which was part of last year’s Cannes Cinefondation’s Atelier, Vladimir de Fontenay’s “Mobile Homes,” Sonia Kronlund’s documentary feature debut “Nothingwood,” and Carine Tardieu’s “Otez-moi d’un doute.”