Since 2014, with Next Step, La Semaine de la Critique has guided the competing directors of its short film competition towards feature films. Following the screening of their shorts in Cannes in May, the filmmakers are then invited to take part in Next Step at the Moulin d’Andé in December. During this five-day training workshop, they are provided with experts’ support towards developing their feature film projects, as international consultants advise them on scriptwriting, production and distribution. A specific workshop with French composers also helps the participants think through the musical world of their film. At the end of the workshop, they have the chance to meet French producers on the look-out for new talents.
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.
For the last four years, the workshop has gone further with its Next Step Prize: the winner of the Prize receives a 5,000€ endowment and an invitation to the Cannes Film Festival. A jury composed of 3 professionals awards the prize to the most promising feature film project. In 2021 the British director Molly Manning Walker won the prize for her film How to Have Sex. This year, the members of the jury will be Thibaut Bracq, Head of Marrakech International Fillm Fest Atlas Worskhop, Sata Cissokho, Head of Acquisitions at Memento International and Alexis Hofmann, Head of Acquisitions at Bac Films. The winner for this year’s edition will be revealed in May during the Cannes Film Festival.
With the support of