Cannes Film Fest 2024: Julien Colonna’s “The Kingdom”–Preview

The Cannes Film Festival is often defined by showing new works of emerging filmmakers.

Among those likely to make an impression this year is Julien Colonna, the Corsican, Paris-based director and co-writer of The Kingdom.

The film, an Un Certain Regard standout, is a brutal coming of age about a teenager girl (newcomer Ghjuvanna Benedetti) on the run with her father (Saveriu Santucci), a Corsican clan leader.

“We wanted to propose a kind of anti-mob film,” Colonna says, referencing the prevalence of “Godfather”-inspired gangster dramas. “As a viewer, I’m quite bored of this. I think we need to move to something else and propose a different prism.”

The Kingdom, Colonna’s debut feature film, arose out of his own anxieties around the birth of his child six years ago. It’s an entirely fictional movie but it has personal roots for Colonna, who was inspired by the memory of a camping trip that he realized years later was “an entirely different matter for my father.” He shot the most of the film in Corsica within a few miles of his hometown.

“This is where I grew up,” says Colonna, smiling. “This is where I learned to swim. The shower where her kiss takes place is the shower where I kissed for the first time.”

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