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Cannes: Juliette Binoche-Gerard Depardieu Drama to Kick Off Directors’ Fortnight

Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight will kick off on a glamorous note with the world premiere of “Un beau soleil intérieur,” Claire Denis’ ambitious French drama headlined by Juliette Binoche and Gerard Depardieu. The film is adapted from French philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes’ “A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments.” Films Distribution handles international sales; Ad Vitam will be releasing it in France.

Directors’ Fortnight will showcase a pair of Sundance movies: “Bushwick,” from Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott, and Geremy Jasper’s “Patti Cake$,” which will close the parallel event. XYZ Films is selling “Bushwick.”

One of the most anticipated movies of the upcoming Directors’ Fortnight edition is “The Florida Project” from “Tangerine” writer-director Sean Baker. The film centers on a precocious 6-year-old girl and her close friends over the course of a summer break filled with childhood wonder and a sense of adventure. Willem Dafoe stars in the film. Protagonist Pictures is selling.

Headed by Edouard Waintrop, Directors’ Fortnight assembled a lineup that includes several under-the-radar selections, such as “West of the Jordan River (Field Diary Revisited),” from Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai, and “Alive in France,” Abel Ferrara’s joyful documentary that follows the filmmaker and his band on a tour across France last fall.

Directors’ Fortnight 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.

Besides Denis, Directors’ Fortnight will shine a spotlight on two other veteran 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 at Directors’ Fortnight 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.

Speaking of “Pure Hearts,” Waintrop said the film shed light on Italy’s lower class and the rise of a devout Christian population in modern Italy.

Waintrop said all three Italian movies (“A Ciambra,””Pure Hearts” and “The Intruder”) boasted, in their own ways, a compelling neo-realistic style.

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 the 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” 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.”

See the full lineup below:

Feature films
A CIAMBRA by Jonas Carpignano
ALIVE IN FRANCE by Abel Ferrara
BUSHWICK by Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott
CUORI PURI by Roberto De Paolis * debut film
THE FLORIDA PROJECT by Sean Baker
FROST by Sharunas Bartas
I AM NOT A WITCH by Rungano Nyoni * debut film
JEANNETTE L’ENFANCE DE JEANNE D’ARC by Bruno Dumont
L’AMANT D’UN JOUR by Philippe Garrel
L’INTRUSA by Leonardo Di Costanzo
LA DEFENSA DEL DRAGÓN by Natalia Santa * debut film
MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS by Surya Mouly
MOBILE HOMES by Vladimir de Fontenay
NOTHINGWOOD by Sonia Kronlund * debut film
ÔTEZ-MOI D’UN DOUTE by Carine Tardieu
PATTI CAKE$ by Geremy Jasper * debut film – closing film
THE RIDER by Chloé Zhao
UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR by Claire Denis – opening film
WEST OF THE JORDAN RIVER (FIELD DIARY REVISITED) by Amos Gitai

Short films
ÁGUA MOLE by Laura Goncalves & Alexandra Ramires
COPA-LOCA by Christos Massalas
CRÈME DE MENTHE by Philippe David Gagné & Jean-Marc E. Roy
FARPÕES, BALDIOS by Marta Mateus
LA BOUCHE by Camilo Restrepo
MIN BÖRDA by Niki Lindroth von Bahr
NADA by Gabriel Martins
RETOUR À GENOA CITY by Benoit Grimalt
TANGENTE by Julie Jouve & Rida Belghiat
TIJUANA TALES by Jean-Charles Hue
TREŠNJE by Dubravka Turić

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