News ID: 215278
Published: 0232 GMT May 18, 2018
Cinéfondation, Directors' Fortnight announces winners

Abbasi's 'Border' wins over Cannes buyers at Un Certain Regard

Abbasi's 'Border' wins over Cannes buyers at Un Certain Regard

Swedish troll love story 'Border' by Ali Abbasi, a highlight of this year's Un Certain Regard at Cannes, has been sold in all major territories by Films Boutique.

'Border' follows a border guard (Eva Melander) who has the ability to smell human emotions and catch smugglers. When she comes across a mysterious man with a smell that confounds her detection, she is forced to confront disturbing insights about herself and humankind. The movie was penned by Abassi, Isabella Eklöf, John Ajvide Lindqvist, a Swedish novelist who is best known for his book 'Let the Right One In' which was adapted into a hit movie.

'Border' was acquired by solid distributors across the world, including in France/Switzerland (Metropolitan), Scandinavia (Triart), Japan (Kino Films), China (Lemontree), Russia (CIS Volga), Taiwan (Filmware), Benelux (Filmfreak), Latam (Impacto Cine), Germany/Austria (Wild Bunch Germany), Spain (Karma) and Portgual (Alambique). All remaining territories are currently in negotiations.

Rolling off its Cannes premiere, the film received widespread critical acclaim and was acquired by Neon for distribution in the US and Canada.

Variety's Alissa Simon called the film "an exciting, intelligent mix of romance, Nordic noir, social realism and supernatural horror that defies and subverts genre conventions".

Louis Balsan, head of sales at Films Boutique, said the movie received 15 offers right after its first screening at Cannes. "It's a truly original story. It's a genre film, as well as a romance drama and a well-executed thriller. So those three elements make the film stand out from other films," said Balsan.

Balsan also pointed out that 'Border' had attracted mainstream distributors who identified the film's potential to reach well beyond niche audiences for pure genre movies.

'Border' marks the sophomore outing of Abbasi, following 'Shelley' which world premiered at Berlin in the Panorama section.

'Border' was produced by Meta Film Stockholm, Spark Film and TV and Kärnfilm, in co-production with Meta Film Denmark, Film i Väst, SVT and Copenhagen Film Fund. 'Border' was also backed by Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film and TV Fond, Danish Film Institute, MEDIA and Eurimages.


'Electric Lion' wins Cannes Cinéfondation top prize

In the Cannes Film Festival's key film school shorts awards, 'El Verano del León Eléctrico' ('The Summer of the Electric Lion'), by Chile's Diego Céspedes, a student at the Instituto de Comunicación e Imagen — Universidad de Chile — won the First Jury Prize at 21st Cinéfondation Selection.

'The Summer of the Electric Lion' is based on the true story of the Lion, a Chilean prophet whose cult-like following believed he could electrocute others with a simple touch. The film is about a young boy who accompanies his sister on a journey to meet the prophet, who will claim her as his seventh wife. The jury singled out its 'courageous' storytelling and praised Céspedes "for his capacity to tell much more than he shows us".

While the young helmer said he was caught up in the 'euphoria' of his first visit to Cannes, which he called an 'amazing experience', he recognized too "how big of a platform this is for letting people know what we're doing, what we want to keep doing, and talk to them about our future projects".

Along with a cash prize, the award guarantees Céspedes’ first feature will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Jury president Bonello praised the diversity of this year's selection, which consisted of 17 student films, chosen from more than 2,400 entries coming from 512 film schools around the world.

The winners were chosen "not because their films are masterpieces, but because you want to see the next one", he said. "It gave us the desire to follow them and to see what they’re going to do after this."

The Second Jury Prize was awarded to two projects. 'Kalendar' (Calendar), directed by Russia's Igor Poplauhin, a student at the Moscow School of New Cinema, is the enigmatic tale of an ordinary woman who sets her life aside every few months to take a long, mysterious journey.

Sharing the second prize was 'Dong Wu Xiong Meng' (The Storms in Our Blood), directed by China's Shen Di, a student at the Shanghai Theater Academy. It's a gentle comedy about a pregnant Ghanaian woman who travels to a remote Chinese village to find the father of her child, which the jury praised for its 'energy and humor'.

The Third Jury Prize went to 'Inanimate', by Lucia Bulgheroni, of the UK's National Film and Television School. The animated short is the story of a woman with a normal life, a normal job, a normal boyfriend and a normal apartment in a normal city, until everything — literally — starts to fall apart. The jury praised the film "for its capacity to move us by its fantasy and its creativity".


'Climax' wins Directors' Fortnight top prize

Gaspar Noé's 'Climax', charting the descent into physical hell of a young dance troupe, won the biggest prize out at Cannes' 2018 Directors’ Fortnight, its Art Cinema Award.

'Lucia's Grace', Italian Gianni Zanasi's woman’s empowerment comedy, snagged the Europa Cinemas Label, awarded to the section’s best European film.

Granted by France's Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers, the SACD Award for best French-language film went to Pierre Salvadori's screwball crime romcom 'The Trouble with You'.

Prices are given by the section's sponsors. Notably, all three are directed by men but turn principally on women. Two prizes went to potentially crowd-pleasing comedies.

'Climax' marks the French-Argentine Gaspar Noé's return to his grand theme — imperatives, joy and hell of physical experience.

Sold and co-produced by Wild Bunch, its first 45 minutes delivered what appears to be among the most critically-praised of cinema on this year's Croisette as they capture a mesmerizing dance troupe rehearsal, club music performance as never seen before.


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