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‘Makala,’ ‘Gabriel and the Mountain’ Scoop Cannes’ Critics’ Week Awards

Emmanuel Gras’ Congo-set documentary “Makala” and Brazilian director Fellipe Barbosa’s drama “Gabriel and the Mountain” scooped the top two awards at Cannes’ Critics’ Week on Thursday evening.

“Makala,” Gras’ second documentary film, won the Nespresso Grand Prize at Critics’ Week, which is headed by Charles Tesson.

The highly cinematic documentary feature follows a young man (Kabwita Kasongo) who lives in the Congolese countryside and works on production of charcoal to give his family a better future. Gras, who is also a well-respected cinematographer, last directed “Bovines.” The movie is produced by Bathysphere and sold by Les Films du Losange.

Meanwhile, “Gabriel and the Mountain,” which centers on a young Brazilian man’s journey across Africa, won the Visionary Prize and Fondation Gan Award.

Barbosa’s sophomore feature, “Gabriel and the Mountain” is based on the true story of a friend of the director who died on the slopes of Malawi’s Mount Mulanje in 2009. Sold by Films Boutique, “Gabriel and the Mountain” is produced by TV Zero, Damned Films and Arte France Cinema.

Léa Mysius’ “Ava,” the summertime coming-of-age of a young girl who loses her sight, won the SACD prize.

The jury of this year’s Critics’ Week was presided over by Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho, and comprised Diana Bustamante Escobar, Hania Mroué, Niels Schneider, and Eric Kohn.

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