Critics’ Week 2023 Lineup

Amanda Nell Eu’s Tiger Stripes (2023)

Presenting the selection of eleven features lined up for this year’s Critics’ Week, the independent program running parallel to the Cannes Film Festival, artistic director Ava Cahen noted on Monday that six of them are directed by women. French filmmaker Marie Amachoukeli made a handful of shorts before she teamed up with Claire Burger and Samuel Theis on Party Girl, which won the Camera d’Or, the award for best first feature, when it premiered in the Un Certain Regard program in Cannes in 2014. Now the first feature Amachoukeli has directed on her own, Ama Gloria, the story of a six-year-old girl who must say goodbye to the nanny she loves, will open Critics’ Week’s sixty-second edition on May 17.

Erwan Le Duc’s No Love Lost, a tragicomic tale of an inseparable pair, a father and his daughter, will close things out on May 25, and there will be two more Special Screenings. In Stéphan Castang’s Vincent Must Die, the quiet life of a graphic designer is turned upside down when, out of nowhere and for no discernible reason, everyone who crosses his path attacks him. And Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni’s The (Ex)perience of Love is a romantic comedy about a couple whose doctor advises them to sleep with their exes.

Audrey Diwan, whose Happening won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2021, will preside over the jury weighing the merits of the seven features selected for the main competition. Diwan will be joined on the jury by cinematographer Rui Poças (Zama), actor Franz Rogowski (Passages), curator Meenakshi Shedde, and Sundance programming director Kim Yutani.

Puberty waylays twelve-year-old Zaffan in Malaysian director Amanda Nell Eu’s debut feature, Tiger Stripes. Zaffan’s first impulse is to conceal the terrifying changes she’s undergoing, but one day, she decides she’s got nothing to hide. Amjad Al Rasheed’s Inshallah a Boy, a portrait of a struggling single mother, is the first film from Jordan invited to Critics’ Week.

Jason Yu, who has worked as an assistant director for Bong Joon Ho, will present his first feature, Sleep. In three chapters, Yu tells the story of a young couple taking on the challenge of becoming parents—while dealing with a barking dog and a roaming ghost. Iris Kaltenbäck’s Le ravissement, a psychological thriller about the intimate relationship between two women, features an impressive cast: Hafsia Herzi, Nina Meurisse, Alexis Manenti, and Younes Boucif.

While students protest Slobodan Milošević’s regime in 1996, a teenager in Belgrade must choose between his own convictions and his love for his mother, a corrupt politician, in Vladimir Perisič’s Lost Country. Athlete Sofia, too, faces tough decisions in Brazilian director Lillah Halla’s Levante. An unwanted pregnancy threatens to put an early end to Sofia’s career, but in Brazil, abortion is still illegal. And in Paloma Sermon-Daï’s Il pleut dans la maison, a brother and sister—broke, in their teens, and on their own—simply try to get through one long hot summer.

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