Critics’ Week Winners Revealed at Cannes 2021

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Omar El Zohairy’s comedy-drama “Feathers” has won the Nespresso Grand Prize at Critics’ Week, the Cannes Film Festival’s strand dedicated to first and second films.

Set in contemporary Egypt, “Feathers” follows the journey of a woman with three children whose idealist husband is turned into a chicken by a magician in a magic-trick gone awry. El Zohairy used over 30 real chickens in the production with the assistance of an animal trainer. It was produced by Still Moving (France), and co-produced by Film Clinic (Egypt), Lagoonie Film Production (Egypt), Kepler Film (The Netherlands) and Heretic (Greece).

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Meanwhile, the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award went to Sandra Melissa Torres for her performance in Simón Mesa Soto’s “Amparo,” about a working-class mother desperately attempting to save her son from military conscription in Colombia.

The Grand Prize and Rising Star awards were given by the jury which was presided over by the Romanian Palme d’Or winning director Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) .

“Olga,” meanwhile, won the SACD Award which went to the movie’s screenwriters, Elie Grappe and Raphaëlle Desplechin. The film explores the world of a competitive gymnast in the Ukraine.

“Zero Fucks Given,” which tackles the subject of loneliness and is directed by Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre, won the Gan Foundation Award for distribution. The award was given to the distribution banner Condor.

The 2021 program — which marks the sidebar’s 60th edition — featured 13 world premieres, seven of them in competition, chosen from nearly 1,000 films by Charles Tesson, artistic director, and his committee.

The sidebar is closing with Leyla Bouzid’s “A Tale of Love and Desire.” The film follows an 18 year-old man of French of Algerian origin, who grew up in the suburbs of Paris and meets Farah, a free-spirited young Tunisian girl, in college. The meeting changes his life.

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