A Breathe of Fresh Air
A section of the Cannes Film Festival, La Semaine de la Critique has, since its inception, focused on discovering and highlighting new talent in filmmaking. Founded in 1962 by the Syndicat Français de la Critique de Cinéma (Union of French Film Critics), this festival aims to throw the spotlight on first and second works by filmmakers from all around the world. Such leading lights as Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean Eustache, Otar Iosseliani, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach, Wong Kar Wai, Jacques Audiard, and Arnaud Desplechin were first introduced to the public eye at La Semaine de la Critique.
Reflecting the combination of high standards and a spirit of curiosity fundamental to film criticism, La Semaine de la Critique explores and reveals new works in moviemaking. It plays an investigative role that has led to the discovery in recent years of films such as Amores Perros by Alejandro González Iñarritu, Respiro by Emanuele Crialese, Depuis qu’Otar est parti by Julie Bertuccelli, Mon trésor by Keren Yedaya, Moi, toi et tous les autres by Miranda July, Les Méduses by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen, L’Orphelinat by Juan Antonio Bayona, and The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy among others.
La Semaine de la Critique showcases a tight selection of seven feature films and ten short and medium-length films in competition, a deliberately reduced number of films in order to ensure maximum visibility.The Nespresso Grand Prize (feature films), the France 4 Visionary Award (feature films) and the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize (short and medium-length films) are awarded by the Semaine de la Critique jury. The feature films are also eligible to the Gan Foundation Support for distribution and the SACD Award, the short and medium-length films to the Canal+ Award.The debut feature films selected also compete for the Camera d’Or.
Remaining attentive to the latest developments in cinema, La Semaine de la Critique also presents, out of competition, a selection of films that offer an original approach or viewpoint in filmmaking, with an emphasis placed on short films and medum-length films. Open to the general public, this event offers a large number of screenings and meetings with film directors. La Semaine de la Critique also organises the NEXT STEP and TALENTS CRITIQUES programmes that aim to support emerging talents in cinema and in film criticism. Finally each year, La Semaine de la Critique exports its selection to various countries.
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