×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ Tops Directors’ Fortnight Awards

CANNES — “The Embrace of the Serpent,” Colombian director Ciro Guerra’s visually rich, black-and-white adventure saga about the ravages of colonialism in the Amazon, won the top Art Cinema Award at the 47th Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes on Friday.

A follow-up to Guerra’s 2009 Un Certain Regard entry, “The Wind Journeys,” “Embrace of the Serpent” (which is being sold by Films Boutique) follows the parallel journeys of two different ethnologists, both searching for a rare flower deemed sacred by Colombia’s indigenous population. Along with Thursday’s honors for the Critics’ Week entries “Paulina” (from Argentina’s Santiago Mitre) and “Land and Shade” (from Colombia’s Cesar Acevedo), the victory for Guerra’s film suggests it’s been a particularly strong festival for Latin American cinema, despite initial concerns that the region might be underrepresented, at least in the official selection.

The Fortnight’s SACD Prize, presented every year to a French-language film by the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers, was awarded to “My Golden Days,” Arnaud Desplechin’s emotionally resonant coming-of-age prequel to his 1996 Cannes entry, “My Sex Life, or … How I Got Into an Argument.” The award represents a vindication of sorts for the veteran French auteur, whose film premiered to widespread acclaim in Directors’ Fortnight after having been denied a slot in the official competition.

My Golden Days,” which is being sold internationally by Wild Bunch, marks the screen debuts of young leads Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy-Lecollinet. The film opened in French theaters on Wednesday.

“Mustang,” a debut feature from Turkey’s Deniz Gamze Erguven, won the Europa Cinemas Label for best European film in the Fortnight. The film, which is sold and co-produced by Kinology, is set in a remote Black Sea village where five young sisters are forced to suppress their blossoming sexuality. Cohen Media Group acquired North American rights to the film this week, following its festival screenings.

Under the leadership of artistic director Eduoard Waintrop, the Directors’ Fortnight enjoyed perhaps its buzziest, best-received selection in years, benefiting in no small part from films, like “My Golden Days,” which opted for an official-selection alternative after being turned down for competition. The program’s other major get in this regard was “Arabian Nights,” Miguel Gomes’ sweepingly ambitious six-hour trilogy about social and economic woes in his native Portugal, which screened over three separate days of the Fortnight.

Besides Desplechin, the Fortnight had another French heavyweight in Philippe Garrel, whose black-and-white adultery drama “In the Shadow of Women” was well received in its opening-night slot. Other popular titles included Jaco Van Dormael’s religious satire “The Brand New Testament”; Jeremy Saulnier’s gory thriller “Green Room”; and Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s Balkan war comedy “A Perfect Day,” starring Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins, which was picked up by IFC during the fest.

The program closed on Friday night with Rick Famuyiwa’s Los Angeles-set teen comedy-actioner, “Dope,” one of two Sundance 2015 titles (the other was Chloe Zhao’s “Songs My Brothers Taught Me”) that made their international bows in the Fortnight.

More Film

  • The Wolf Hour

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Wolf Hour'

    Run a finger along any of the surfaces in Alistair Banks Griffin’s sophomore feature “The Wolf Hour,” and it will come up slicked with sweat, grime and the residual soot of the city. It is the summer of 1977,  and it’s hotter than hell. June Leigh (Naomi Watts) perches on the window sill of the [...]

  • The Christmas Gift

    'The Christmas Gift,' 'Guaxuma,' 'King Wah' Win Top Awards at Palm Springs ShortFest

    The Palm Springs International ShortFest wrapped Sunday with top prizes going to “The Christmas Gift,” directed by Bogdan Muresanu, for best of the festival, Nara Normande’s “Guaxuma” for best international short and Horatio Baltz’s “King Wah (I Think I Love You)” for best North American short. The festival is the largest shorts-focused event in North [...]

  • Vortex

    Shanghai Film Review: 'Vortex'

    Official statistics imply that violent crime is close to an all-time low across China today, but you would hardly guess as much from the glut of commercial-leaning crime and gangster movies that the Middle Kingdom is producing and, as often as not, given the accessibility of the genre and the historical pedigree of Asian action [...]

  • Box Office: Toy Story 4 Opens

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Launches Overseas With $120 Million, 'Aladdin' Clears $800 Million

    Disney’s summer box office slate continues to dominate over other studios as “Toy Story 4” launches overseas with a solid $120 million and “Aladdin” crosses $800 million in ticket sales. Disney and Pixar’s latest “Toy Story” entry led international box office charts when it debuted in 37 foreign territories. It also dwarfed the competition in [...]

  • Toy Story 4 Box Office: Pixar

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Dominates With $118 Million Debut

    Disney’s domination over the box office only seemed to strengthen this weekend as “Toy Story 4” easily topped box office charts. The fourth entry in Pixar’s animated series collected $118 million in ticket sales when it debuted in 4,575 North American theaters. While that haul is significantly below expectations – early estimates initially anticipated a [...]

  • Shanghai international Film Festival closing ceremony

    Iran's 'Castle of Dreams' Sweeps Shanghai Golden Goblet Award Ceremony

    China’s top film festival showered its highest three honors on the Iranian film “Castle of Dreams,” hours after American President Donald Trump said the U.S. would on Monday impose “major additional sanctions” on Tehran. The drama about family, separation and keeping one’s promises, collected a trio of prizes on Sunday night at the Shanghai International [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content