×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes’ Cinefondation fetes ‘Baba’

Czech student wins short-feature prize at fest

“Baba,” a psychological drama directed by Czech Zuzana Kirchnerova-Spidlova, won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation selection of short- and medium-length features from film school students worldwide Friday.

“Baba,” which follows a young woman unwillingly caring for her dying grandmother, won E15,000 ($20,000). Pic will screen in Cannes’ Official Selection next year.

Laurent Jacob, Cinefondation selection coordinator, said it was a milestone for a Czech film to win at Cannes.

A Chinese student from the  Beijing Film Academy, Song Fang, took second prize for drama “Goodbye.”

Third prize was shared by Israeli helmer Yaelle Kayam’s “Diploma,” about a Jewish settlement, and Korean suspenser “Don’t Step Out the House,” directed by Jo Sung-hee.

British director John Boorman, who topped the Cinefondation jury, pointed out that three of the top four prizes went to femmes. “It seems that the future of films is in the hands of women.”

Out of 1,400 submissions, the jury selected 17 films, including Italian 2-D toon “Il Naturalista,”  directed by Giulia Barbera, Gianluca Lo Presti, Frederico Parodi and Michele Tozzi; French drama “The Setback,” from Dominique Baumard  at Paris’ La Femis film school; and “Gutter,” by Daniel Day from NYU.

“For 12 months the Cinefondation teams find talent from all over the world, wherever they are: Festivals, schools, meetings, cultural institutions,” said Cannes Festival prexy and Cinefondation founder Gilles Jacob.

He said 13 Cinefondation alums have films playing at Cannes this year.

“Our dearest wish is to help forge the contours of a young cinema landscape,” Jacob added.

Cinefondation alums include Serb Vladimir Perisic whose “Ordinary People” played to upbeat reactions in Critics’ Week.

The Cinefondation also hosted the fifth Atelier workshop during the fest, which allows filmmakers to meet producers and distributors, and fast-track finance for their projects.

This year, the Atelier featured 15 projects, including  Zhang Yuan’s “Executioner Garden,” Faouzi Bensaidi’s “Death for Sale” and Diego Lerman’s “Moral Sciences.”

“Despite the recession, the energy level at the Atelier has been stronger than ever,” said Cinefondation director Georges Goldenstern. “Usually, we set up about 200 meetings during the  festival. This year we’ve had more than 300.”

Six U.S. companies held meetings with Atelier filmmakers, including Altadena, Sundance Channel, FiGa Films and Lane Streets Pictures.

“This is a sign that American producers are looking for emerging directors and probably smaller-budget films,” Goldenstern said.

(John Hopewell contributed to this report.)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content