You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Needle’ Wins Cannes’ Cinefondation Prize

Needle,” from U.S. film student Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, has nabbed the top prize at Cannes’ Cinefondation, whose  jury was presided by New Zealand-born multi-hyphenate Jane Campion.

Ghazvinizadeh, a student at the School of the Art Insitute of Chicago,  won €15,000. As the First Prize winner, Ghazvinizadeh will have the opportunity to present her feature debut at the Festival.

Needle” is a coming-of-age drama centering on a young girl who is going to get her ears pierced but a quarrel between her parents overwhelms the situation.

“‘Needle”s got beautiful precision and the most exciting thing about it is that I can feel a very unique flavor to this filmmaker’s voice. It’s got subtle observations and it’s also very modern,” Campion told Variety.

Sarah Hirtt from Belgium’s INSAS nabbed the second prize with “Pendant Le degel” (“Waiting For the Thaw”). The third nod was awarded to Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s “In Acvariu” (“In the Fishbowl”), from Romania’s UNATC; and Matus Vizar’s  “Pandy” (Pandas”), from Czech Republic’s FAMU.

The second and third prizes will be awarded €11,250 and €7,500 respectively.

“Thaw” turns on the hazardous road-trip of two long estranged siblings who reconnect for the moving of one of them. “Fishbowl” turns on a young couple struggling to break up, while “Pandas” is a 2D animated short.

Campion was an idea choice as jury president: she broke through on the international film scene with student shorts, notably “Peel” which won a Palme d’Or in Cannes and marked the starting point of her career.

“I’m a big supporter of the idea that young people can be at their very best before they’re 30. I even made a film about John Keats (‘Bright Star’) who wrote his best parts at 23,” said Campion. “I’m really aware that the world may not be ready for you but you can be ready for the world. And for me these guys (who won the Cinefondation prizes) are completely ready.”

The Cinefondation Selection comprised 18 student films, chosen out of nearly 1,550 entries coming from 277 film schools around the world.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Lucy-Lost

    Cartoon Forum: 30th Anniversary, Little Giants and New Generations

    TOULOUSE, France –  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Cartoon Forum wrapped Sept. 19 having showcased the ever-growing strength of European animation. 85 projects were pitched from 24 countries at the co-production forum platform that played host to north of 1,000 investors, distributors and producers – a record number. Falling on French-speaking Belgium – Wallonie-Bruxelles – whose [...]

  • 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 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content