×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Chloe Zhao’s ‘The Rider’ Tops Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight

Martin Scorsese exec-produced ‘A Ciambra’ takes the Europa Cinemas Label Award

CANNES — Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider,” Sony Pictures Classics’ second pick-up at this year’s Cannes Festival, won the Art Cinema Award, the top prize at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

In further plaudits, all given by the section’s sponsors, Jonas Carpignano’s neo-realist migrant drama “A Ciambra,” executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, won the Europa Cinemas Label Award, open to all European titles in Directors’ Fortnight.

Granted by France’s Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers, the SACD Award for best French film in Directors’ Fortnight was shared by two titles from leading Gallic auteurs: Philippe Garrel’s “Lover for a Day” and Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In.”

Directed by Zhao, a Chinese-American, and capturing a fast-disappearing part of Americana, “The Rider” charts the frustrated dreams of a South Dakota rodeo rider, played by real-life cowboy Brady Jandreau. “The Rider” also marks a return to Directors’ Fortnight for China’s Zhao who presented her feature debut “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” in 2015.

Well received at Cannes, “the moody, wistful film” “gains artful integrity from Zhao’s favored docu-fiction technique — roughly tracing a script around the experiences of her non-professional actors — and dusty-dreamy visual style,” Variety noted.

Popular on Variety

Sold by Protagonist Pictures, “The Rider” is produced by Zhao’s company Highwayman Films, with Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche of Caviar Films, and Mollye Asher.

Cast in Italy’s neorealist tradition, and inheriting some of the visuals of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” on which Carpignano worked as an a.d., “A Ciambra” marks the first title to emerge from an emerging filmmaker film fund set up by Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff’s Sikelia Productions and Rodrigo Teixeira’s Sao Paulo-based RT Features. It is produced by Italy’s Stayblack, RT Features, Sikelia Prods and RAI Cinema, the film arm of the Italian public broadcaster.

Sold by Luxbox, “A Ciambra” was picked up at Cannes for North America by Sundance Selects.  Carpignano’s semi-sequel to “Mediterranea,” “A Ciambra” stars Pio Amato ,who played a secondary character in “Mediterranea,” as a 14-year-old growing up in a Romani community on Italy’s Calabrian coast.

“What [Carpignano] does with his young lead, drawing from him a mature and complex performance, is truly remarkable. A moving and beautiful picture,” Scorsese has commented.

Opening Directors’ Fortnight,  and starring Juliette Binoche and Gérard Depardieu, Denis’ “Un Beau Soleil Interieur’ marks something of a change of direction for Denis, a romantic comedy, but a hardly standard one starring Binoche as a perpetually unsatisfied woman, and Depardieu as a potential love interest, though he hardly appears before the film’s final stretch.

Garrel cleaves much closer to his auteur hallmarks in “Lover For a Day,” another black-and-white Paris-set examination of love, but, Variety wrote, with a double ambition: to further deepen the director’s ongoing Freudian analysis of female characters launched with “Jealousy,” while also starting to explore a new continent, female pleasure.

Directors’ Fortnight closes with U.S. musicvid director Geremy Jasper’s debut “Patti Cake$,” one of the biggest breakouts of Sundance, starring Danielle Macdonald as an outsized white girl harboring dreams of mega gangsta rap stardom, while living in a bathetic New Jersey burb.

CANNES 2017 DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT PRIZES

ART CINEMA AWARD

“The Rider,” (Chloe Zhao, U.S.)

EUROPA CINEMAS LABEL AWARD

“A Ciambra,” (Jonas Carpignano, Italy, Brazil, U.S.)

SOCIETY OF DRAMATIC AUTHORS AND COMPOSERS (SACD) PRIZE

“Let the Sunshine In,” (Claire Denis, France); “Lover For a Day,” (Philippe Garrel, France)

ILLY SHORT FILM PRIZE

“Back To Genoa City,” (Benoit Grimalt, France)

More Film

  • The Unknown Saint

    'The Unknown Saint' Director Alaa Eddine Aljem on Pushing Arab Boundaries With Comedy

    Young Moroccan writer-director Alaa Eddine Aljem chose to tackle a sensitive subject in his first feature, absurdist comedy “The Unknown Saint,” which is basically about “the relationship between faith and money,” he says. He spoke to Variety about using sophisticated humor to push boundaries in the Arab world and reflected on the journey of his debut, which after [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • De-aging Robert De Niro For Scorsese's

    'The Irishman': A Closer Look at the De-Aging of De Niro in Scorsese's Mob Epic

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” hits Netflix today and it stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a truck driver who meets Russell Bufalino (Pesci). Spanning several decades, the film follows Sheeran as he gets involved in the greatest unsolved mob mystery – the disappearance of union boss Jimmy [...]

  • David Tennant'Good Omens' TV show premiere,

    Intl. TV Newswire: HBO in Denmark, Tennant in a Balloon, Eccho Rights in Love

    In this week’s jam-packed International TV Newswire, Variety catches you up on HBO’s first Danish original series “Kamikaze,” the first deal between ViacomCBS-owned broadcasters since the merger, David Tennant’s upcoming 80-day global circumnavigation, an un-scripted deal between Japan’s Nippon TV and the U.K.’s The Story Lab. Also on the mix: Eccho Rights’ newest global pickup from Sweden, [...]

  • Sin Señas Particulares

    Alpha Violet Acquires Fernanda Valadez’s Sundance-Selected ‘Identifying Features’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES  — Paris-based Alpha Violet  has acquired international rights to Fernanda Valadez’s feature debut, “Identifying Features,” which world premieres in World Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Announced this week, the Sundance selection comes on top of a Films in Progress Prize at this September’s San Sebastian Festival. Studying at Mexico’s Centro [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content