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2022 Next Step prize Vytautas Katkus for The Visitor

Vytautas Katkus, 2022 Next Step Prize

Since 2014, La Semaine de la Critique has been supporting young talented short film directors make their feature with its Next Step programme - exclusively dedicated to the directors whose short films were selected by La Semaine de la Critique. After presenting their short film in Cannes, filmmakers are invited in Paris in December to take part in a workshop. Over a week, they receive advice from international consultants. 

Every year, a professional jury composed of 3 professionals awards one of the participating director the Next Step Prize with a 5,000€ endowment for the most promising feature project. This year, the members of the jury are Thibaut Bracq, Head of Marrakech International Film Fest Atlas Worskhop, Sata Cissokho, Head of Acquisitions at Memento International and Alexis Hofmann, Head of Acquisitions at Bac Films.

Alexis Hofmann & Thibaut Bracq members of the Jury with Vytautas Katkus

For its fourth edition, the Next Step Prize is awarded to the Lithuanian project The Visitor by Vytautas Katkus, produced by M-Films. Vytautas is not only a director but also the cinematographer for various films made by young Lithuanian filmmakers. In 2019, he presented Community Gardens at the 58th edition of La Semaine de la Critique, a languid summer tale of a father-son relationship where apparent gentleness conceals a burning fire. In 2020, he screened his last short film, Places, at the Venice International Film Festival. As a Baltic disciple of Tsai Ming-liang, Vytautas places reserve and rhythm at the very core of his feature film project. Reserve in disclosing the feelings of his characters, out of place, looking for where they belong in a melancholic and farcical world. Rhythmic in his mise en scene, the distance he keeps, the pace he treasures, observing rather than asserting. With an acute sense of choreography, his perspective as a filmmaker reveals the gliding gentleness of feelings.

In 8 years, the Next Step programme has supported 71 directors from 33 countries. We are delighted to see how far the 14 released feature films have gone, most recently Anaïs in love by Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet (Semaine de la Critique 2021), Whether the Weather is Fine by Carlo Francisco Manatad (Locarno Film Festival 2021), Produkty 24 (Convenience Store) by Michael Borodin (2022 Berlinale 2022) or Rio Doce by Fellipe Fernandes (Rio de Janeiro International film Festival 2021).

In 2022, The Woodcutter Story by Mikko Myllylahti, Tengo sueños electricos by Valentina Maurel, Alma Viva by Cristèle Alves Meira, The Maiden by Graham Foy and Dogborn by Isabella Carbonell will have their premiere in festivals. Furthermore, 8 feature projects developed during Next Step will be in production or postproduction. 

 

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