The 46th edition of the Deauville American Film Festival is set to open with Lee Isaac Chung’s critically acclaimed drama “Minari,” and will close with Douglas Attal’s fantasy-filled French movie “How I Became a Super Hero.”
“Minari,” one of the 15 films that will screen in competition at Deauville, was a standout at Sundance where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. “Minari” tells the autobiographical tale of a Korean American family who moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s. Chung’s fifth film, “Minari” is inspired by the filmmaker’s own childhood and stars Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho and Scott Haze.
Deauville’s artistic director Bruno Barde described “Minari” as an exceptional film reminiscent of John Ford’s movies. Barde said the selection of the film in competition underscores Deauville’s “desire for a rigorous popular cinema.”
Meanwhile, “How I Became a Super Hero” is a French twist on “X-Men” paying “tribute to those Marvellian heroes” as well as the “fantastic vein of American cinema,” said the festival. The movie, which marks Douglas’ feature debut, is headlined by a strong French cast including Pio Marmaï, Leïla Bekhti, Vimala Pons, Benoît Poelvoorde and Swann Arlaud. The film will premiere in Deauville in the presence of the film’s cast and crew. Barde pointed out both “Minari” and “How I Became a Super Hero” are crowd-pleasers.
“How I Became a Super Hero” is one of the several French films that will play at Deauville this year. Although the French Normandy-set festival is traditionally dedicated to American movies, it will world premiere nine films that were part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection, notably Maiwenn’s “DNA” and Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s “A Good Man.”
The 15-pic competition roster will be completed by Sean Durkin’s film “The Nest,” starring with Jude Law. “The Nest” is replacing Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” which was pulled from Deauville after Toronto festival demanded to have the film as a world premiere.
As previously announced, the festival will partner up with Annecy to host a youth program showcasing three films, including Rémi Chayé’s “Calamity” which won Annecy’s Crystal nod, Takashi Yamazaki’s “Lupin III,” and Joann Sfar’s “Little Vampire.”
The eclectic jury of this 46th edition will comprise the filmmaker Yann Gonzalez, Mounia Meddour and Bruno Podalydes, actress Zita Hanrot, author and rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, actor Vincent Lacoste, producer Sylvie Pialat and rapper Oxmo Puccino.
As the number of coronavirus cases is still on the rise in France, the festival will enforce strict health guidelines. Face protection will have to be worn in all festival areas and the auditorium’s seating capacity has been capped, while ventilation in the main screening venue will be controlled.