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Critics’ Week Readies Its Next Step Program

PARIS — Critics Week is getting ready to launch Next Step, a mentoring program for 10 directors whose short films were selected at last year’s Cannes sidebar.

Organized in partnership with TorinoFilmLab and backed by the national film board CNC,  the five-day program will welcome Jonas Carpignano (“A Cambria”) from Italy, Carlos Conceicao (“Goodnight Cinderella”) from Portugal, Gaëlle Denis from the U.K. (“Crocodile”), Una Gunjak (“The Chicken”) from Bosnia, Gerardo Herrero (“Safari”) from Spain, Laurie Lassalle (“I Made My Own Course Down the Passive Rivers”) from France, Rémi Saint-Michel (“Little Brother”) from Canada, Gitanjali Rao (“TrueLoveStory”) from India and Tomasz Siwinski (“A Blue Room”) from Poland.

The directors will be coached by a broad range of industryites, including screenwriters, directors, producers and acquisition/sales execs, to get a sense of market trends and develop their projects on the right track.

The eight consultants who will participate in the workshop are Marie Amachoukeli, scriptwriter and co-director of “Party Girl” (Un Certain Regard); Julien Lilti, co-scriptwriter of “Hippocrates” (Critics’ Week); Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia, scriptwriters and directors of “Salvo” (Critics’ Week); Ewa Puszczynska, producer of Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Ida”; Matthieu Taponier, scriptwriter and script consultant; Nadja Dumouchel, consultant for ARTE Germany; and Fabien Gaffez, short film coordinator at La Semaine de la Critique.

Meanwhile, Virginie Devesa from French sales house Alpha Violet, Geoffroy Grison (scriptwriter and producer) and Thomas Pibarot from Paris-based production, distribution and sales company Le Pacte will be on hand to give the directors an industry perspective on their projects.

Following this workshop, le Moulin d’Andé-CECI will host a one-month residence for the 10 directors.

Since its creation 53 years ago, Critics Weeks have served as a launchpad for auteurs such as Andrea Arnold, François Ozon and Gaspar Noé. More recently, Critics’ Week brought to attention Justin Kurzel (“Snowtown”), Juliana Rojas (“Hard Labour”) as well as Claire Burger and Marie Amachoukeli (“Party Girl”).


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