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Directors’ Fortnight: Jonas Carpignano’s ‘A Chiara’ Named Best European Film – Cannes

Although the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes is non-competitive, prizes are awarded by its partners. Revealed today, ahead of the closing ceremony this evening, the Europa Cinemas Cannes Label for Best European Film went to Jonas Carpignano’s A Chiara and the SACD Prize to Magnetic Beats (Les Magnétiques) by Vincent Maël Cardona.

A Chiara is Carpignano’s second time scooping the Europa Cinemas Label. He previously won for 2017’s A Ciambra, the second film in his Calabrian Trilogy. A Chiara will now receive the support of the Europa Cinemas Network, with additional promotion and incentives for exhibitors to extend the film’s run on screen.

Set in Gioia Tauro, Italy, the story of a 15-year-old girl who learns some hard truths about her close-knit family when her father disappears, “reflects a genre that has been extensively covered in cinema but this time from a new perspective,” the jury commented. It added, “This story of the gradual empowerment of the young female character and her relationship with her father and her extended family is brilliantly structured and built. The casting of non-professionals in all of the roles works extremely well, and the imaginative sound design makes a big contribution to the appeal of the film.”

Sold internationally by MK2, which also releases in France, A Chiara is a Stayblack and Haut et Court production.

Meanwhile, the SACD Prize, handed out by France’s Writers’ Guild, goes to Magnetic Beats which is co-written by Cardona, Romain Compingt, Chloé Larouchi, Maël Le Garrec, Catherine Paillé and Rose Philippon. This is Cardona’s debut feature, making it eligible for the Camera d’Or.

Set in 1980s Brittany, the story follows a group of friends who broadcast a free radio station from their hometown in the countryside. Jerome leads it with unique charisma while Philippe, the technical genius, lives in the shadow of Jerome, his big brother. When called for mandatory military service, Philippe has no choice but to leave for West Berlin. He’s determined to keep on broadcasting, but realizes that he just lived the last glorious moments of a world on the verge of extinction.

Paname has French distribution rights and Indie Sales is on international sales.

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