Created in 1962 by the French Union of Film Critics as a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival, La Semaine de la Critique focuses on discovering new talents, revealing first and second feature films. Such directors as Jacques Audiard, Alejandro González Iñarritu, Ken Loach, François Ozon, Wong Kar Wai or in more recent years César Augusto Acevedo, Julia Ducournau, David R. Mitchell, Santiago Mitre, Jeff Nichols or Rebecca Zlotowski were discovered by La Semaine de la Critique.
La Semaine de la Critique materializes each year its role as talent scouter in a selection of 10 short films and 10 feature films presented during the Cannes Film Festival. The film selection committees, composed of critics who are members of the French Union of Film Critics, hence reveal the very unique universes of emerging talents. An international jury bestows three prizes each year: the Nespresso Grand Prize for feature films, the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for short films and the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award that highlights a male or female acting performance in one of the seven feature films in competition. Our partners also give awards: the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution, the SACD Award, the Canal+ Award for short film. The selected debut feature films also compete for the Caméra d’or.
Besides the venue in Cannes, La Semaine de la Critique’s scope of action includes accompanying the selected short film directors through Next Step. The directors attend a one week workshop in December, with the purpose of helping them step further towards feature film.
La Semaine de la Critique also conducts screen education actions year round, especially for the younger audiences, secondary school and high school pupils from the regions of Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Île de France, but also from Germany.