Gina Gammell and Riley Keough’s “War Pony,” Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun” and Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s “The Silent Twins” are among the several female-driven anticipated feature debuts slated for the Deauville American Film Festival’s competition.
Eight titles out of 13 features set to compete at Deauville as first films. “War Pony” world premiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes and won the Camera d’Or for best debut. “War Pony” is a collaborative experience portraying two young Oglala Lakota men who are torn between traditions and the consumer culture surrounding them. “The Silent Twins,” which also bowed at Un Certain Regard, is a biopic of troubled twin writers June and Jennifer Gibbons starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance.
“Aftersun,” meanwhile, world premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week where it won the French Touch Prize and was acquired by A24. The melodrama stars Paul Mescal and newcomer Frankie Corio as a young father and his 11-year-old daughter who are on holiday at a resort in Turkey in the late 1990s.
Other notable titles competing include Chloe Okuno’s “Watcher,” which bowed at Sundance and won best feature at the Boston Underground Film Festival.
“Ever since 1995, the year when the festival became a competition, it has been our ambition to showcase the best of American independent cinema,” said Deauville Festival director Bruno Barde.
“This edition’s filmmakers, many making their feature debuts, aspire to provide an artistic answer to questions posed by the world,” continued Barde, who described the competition as “rugged and appealing.”
Barde said those films are “interrogating our future” and “examine childhood and youth with troubling and moving acuity, making a recurring theme out of the passage into adulthood.”
Also competing are “1-800-HOT-NITE” by Nick Richey, “Dual” by Riley Stearns, “Emily the Criminal” by John Patton Ford, “Montana Story” by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, “Over/Under” by Sophia Silver, “Palm Trees and Power Lines” by Jamie Dack, “Peace in the Valley” by Tyler Riggs, “Scrap” by Vivian Kerr and “Stay Awake” by Jamie Sisley.
The jury of this 48th edition will be presided over by critically acclaimed French director Arnaud Desplechin, whose latest film “Brother and Sister” competed at Cannes. Members of the jury include cinematographer Jean Paul Civeyrac, actors Léa Drucker, Pierre Deladonchamps and Marine Vacth, novelist Yasmina Khadra, filmmaker Sophie Letourneur, actor-director Alex Lutz.
Last year’s edition saw Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket” winning a pair of prizes. “Blue Bayou,” “Down With the King,” “Pleasure” and “John and the Hole” also picked up awards.
Here’s a teaser for the 2022 edition of Deauville Film Festival’s competition lineup: