La semaine de la critique
Five out of seven Critics Week entries will compete in the first-feature Camera-d'Or award at Cannes this year.
Generally reserved for first or second features only, the Critics' Week line-up can be an important leg-up for new feature directors.
Last year's winner of the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award went to Félix Marituad for his role in Camille Vidal-Naquet's Sauvages. Maritaud and the film went on to win about a dozen awards, and was picked for more than 20 festivals around the world.
The Louis Roederer Foundation was founded in 2011 with the purpose of creating a permanent and well-structured sponsorship programme for emerging talent.
One first-timer animation film has also made it to the Critics' Week (La Semaine de la Critique) line-up this year, J'ai perdu mon corps – I Lost My Body, a French debut feature by Jérémy Clapin.
The French Syndicat of Film Critics which selects the films each year in this prominent parallel section at Cannes, also picked Alaa Eddine Aljem's Arabic-language The Unknown Saint – Le Miracle du Saint Inconnu, a coproduction spread among five countries, Morocco, France, Qatar, Germany and Lebanon.
Abou Leila, directed by Amin Sidi-Boumédiène enjoys French co-production, in association with Algerian and Qatari support.
César Diaz' Nuestras Madres – Our Mothers is set in post-civil-war Guatemala and also in the running for the Caméra d'Or.
Ceniza Negra – Land of Ashes – Cendre Noire by Sofia Queros Ubeda, also a Latin American entry, in Spanish, has sprung out of her Critics' Week Next Step workshop in 2017.
Primarily, these five first-features compete for The Critics' Week Grand Prix Nespresso, alongside Icelandic Hlynur Palmason's Hvitur, Hvitur Dagur – A White-White Day and Lorcan Finnegan's Vivarium, an Irish-Belgian coproduction.
The Critic's Week runs from 15 to 23 May 2019 in Cannes.