Jesse Eisenberg’s “When You Finish Saving the World” will be the opening-night film at this year’s International Critics Week (Semaine de la Critique), an independent sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival devoted to first and second films from up-and-coming directors.
The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which because of the COVID-19 pandemic was held virtually rather than in person. New Critics Week head Ava Cahen described the booking of Eisenberg’s movie as “an act of solidarity” with that festival to give the film an in-person spotlight.
The seven films in competition include Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun,” Mikko Myllylahti’s “The Woodcutter Story,” Simon Roth’s “Summer Scars” and Ali Behrad’s “Imagine.” Three of the seven come from female directors.
International Critics Week, which launched in 1962, is the oldest independent section at the Cannes Film Festival, seven years older than Directors Fortnight. This year’s edition is the first to be overseen by film journalist Cahen.
The films will be viewed by a jury headed by Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania (“The Man Who Sold His Skin”) and also including directors Benedikt Erlingsson and Ariane Labed, cinematographer Benoit Debie and journalist and festival director Huh Moon yung.
Directors whose films were first showcased in Critics Week include Jeff Nichols, Guillermo del Toro, Bernardo Bertolucci, Julia Ducournau, Ken Loach, John Sayles and Alejandro G. Inarritu.
Here is the feature-film lineup. Short films are available at the International Critics Week website.
“Aftersun,” Charlotte Wells
“Alma Viva,” Cristele Alves Meira
“Dalva,” Emmanuelle Nicol
“La Jauria,” Andres Ramiriz Pulido
“The Woodcutter Story,” Mikko Myllylahti
“Summer Scars,” Simon Rieth
“Imagine,” Ali Behrad
“When You Finish Saving the World,” Jesse Eisenberg (opening film)
“Sons of Ramses,” Clement Cogitore
“Everybody Loves Jeanne,” Celine Devaux
“Next Sohee,” Jung July (closing film)