The Woodcutter Story wins the Next Step Award at Cannes
by Fabien Lemercier
- CANNES 2019: The project by Finland’s Mikko Myllylahti has taken home the first-ever Next Step Award handed out by the Critics’ Week
Since 2014, the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week has taken its talents by the hand and led them from short film to feature via its Next Step programme. However, the workshop offered to the winners every year (see the news on the class of 2018) has now been enhanced by the addition of a competition intended to single out just one of them. And the Finnish project The Woodcutter Story by Mikko Myllylahti, produced by Aamu Film Company, has come out on top, winning the first-ever Next Step Award.
Myllylahti has directed several short films, including Tiikeri (2018 Critics’ Week), which blends the bizarre with a certain dramatic weightiness. He also wrote the screenplay for The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] by Juho Kuosmanen (which won the Un Certain Regard Prize in 2016). His debut feature-length project as a director, The Woodcutter Story, which is also involved in Cannes this year as part of the Cinéfondation Atelier selection (see the article), is a metaphorical fable in the guise of a black comedy, questioning the power of hope as a defence against obscurantism. It is a plea for a return to humanism, simplicity and nature.
In the course of five editions, 46 directors from 23 different countries have benefited from the support of the Next Step workshop. Three films are currently in post-production: My Days of Glory by France’s Antoine de Bary, 7500 [+see also:
film profile] by Germany’s Patrick Vollrath and Bombay Rose by Indian animated film director Gitanjali Rao. In addition, two features are being showcased on the Croisette this year: The Bare Necessity [+see also:
interview: Erwan Le Duc
film profile] by France’s Erwan Leduc in the Directors’ Fortnight and Land of Ashes [+see also:
film profile] by Costa Rican helmer Sofia Quiros Ubeda, which is in competition in the Critics’ Week.
(Translated from French)
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