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Directors’ Fortnight and ACID Lineups

Keith William Richards in Carson Lund’s Eephus (2024)

With a month to go before Quentin Dupieux’s new comedy The Second Act opens this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the parallel sections are getting their programs in order. The week began with the Critics’ Week lineup, and on Tuesday, the Directors’ Fortnight and ACID, the showcase run by the Association for the International Distribution of Independent Cinema, unveiled theirs.

Launched in 1993, ACID is the youngest of the three independent sections—and the one most often overlooked. It shouldn’t be. Last year’s winner of the Palme d’Or, Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall), saw her first feature premiere in the ACID Cannes program, and so did Kaouther Ben Hania, Serge Bozon, Alain Gomis, Patricia Mazuy, Ursula Meier, Avi Mograbi, Yolande Moreau, Nicolás Pereda, Pierre Schoeller, and Claire Simon. ACID has also programmed early work by Radu Jude, Guy Maddin, and Robert Guédiguian.

Among the nine selections for this year’s thirty-second edition is It Doesn’t Matter, the second feature from Josh Mond, whose James White (2015) won the Best of Next! Audience Award at Sundance. Mond is primarily known for the work he’s produced by his fellow Borderline Films cofounders, such as Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) and Antonio Campos’s Simon Killer (2012). It Doesn’t Matter centers on the “fortuitous relationship” between a wandering man from Staten Island and a young filmmaker.

The standout for Cineuropa’s Fabien Lemercier is Ce n’est qu’un au revoir, a documentary by Guillaume Brac, whose Tonnerre (2013) and July Tales (2017) premiered in Locarno. Brac tracks a group of friends as they graduate from high school, saying goodbye to “their boarding rooms, swimming in the Drôme, and parties in the mountains.”

ACID 2024 will open with Kostas Charamountanis’s Kyuka: Before Summer’s End, in which a single father and his twins sail to the island of Poros, where they happen across—though the kids don’t know it—the mother who abandoned the family many years ago. Deadline’s Melanie Goodfellow suggests that Iair Said’s first feature, Most People Die on Sundays, is a “buzzy” title. A man in his thirties overcomes his fear of flying to attend an uncle’s funeral back home in Argentina, where he reconnects with his family.

Last month, the Directors’ Fortnight announced that it would introduce a new audience award, the People’s Choice, with a cash prize put up by the Fondation Chantal Akerman. The Fortnight will pay tribute to Akerman with a special screening of Histoires d’Amérique: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989), a collection of stories told by Jewish immigrants in New York.

The fifty-sixth edition of Directors’ Fortnight will open with This Life of Mine, the film screenwriter and director Sophie Fillières was working on when she died last summer at the age of fifty-eight. The children she had with filmmaker Pascal Bonitzer completed postproduction. Fillières, who appeared as Monica in Anatomy of a Fall, directed Agnès Jaoui as a woman who begins to ponder existential questions when she turns fifty-five.

Cinematographer, editor, and director Carson Lund, whose byline you’ve seen at Slant and the Harvard Film Archive, will bring his debut feature, Eephus, in which two small-town baseball teams face off one last time before a construction project erases their field. Perhaps most notably, at least until we see the film: the cast features Frederick Wiseman.

Lund has shot two of Tyler Taormina’s features, Ham on Rye (2019) and a new one, Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point, starring Michael Cera, Elsie Fisher, Francesca Scorsese, Ben Shenkman, Gregg Turkington, Sawyer Spielberg, Maria Dizzia, and newcomer Matilda Fleming. Four generations come together for what may be their final holiday spent in the family home.

Isabelle Huppert and Hafsia Herzi star in Patricia Mazuy’s Visiting Hours as two women with partners in prison. In Chiang Wei Liang’s Mongrel, an undocumented migrant from Thailand (Wanlop Rungkumjad) bonds with a patient he cares for in the mountains of Taiwan. The Hyperboreans, “a film about a lost film,” is the new feature from Cristobal León and Joaquín Cociña, whose stop-motion animated The Wolf House (2018) premiered in Berlin and who worked on the animated sequences in Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid (2023). Jonás Trueba (You Have to Come and See It) will tell the story of a couple who throw a party to celebrate their breakup after fifteen years of being together.

When Directors’ Fortnight opens on May 15, the Society of French Directors will present its honorary Golden Coach Award to Andrea Arnold, whose Bird will premiere in competition at Cannes. Directors’ Fortnight 2024 will close on May 25 with Jean-Christophe Meurisse’s Plastic Guns, in which a man is arrested and charged with killing his wife and three children. It’s a comedy.

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