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Cannes Film Festival: Element Pictures' The Souvenir: Part II selected for Directors' Fortnight
09 Jun 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Honor Swinton Byrne in The Souvenir: Part II.
Irish production company Element Pictures continues a fantastic week of achievements with the news that Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir: Part II has been selected for the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight strand at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

The news follows celebrations earlier in the week when Irish starlet Paul Mescal picked up the Best Actor award at the BAFTA TV awards for his portrayal of Connell in Element’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel for Hulu/BBC Three, which became a global phenomenon last year.

The line-up for the Directors’ Fortnight, known as Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, was revealed by Fortnight chief Paolo Moretti from the Forum des Images in Paris. “After a very painful year for everyone, we are happy to present a selection of discovery,” said Moretti, who took over his position as head of the strand in 2019. 

Joanna Hogg’s sequel is one of 24 projects selected for the Directors’ Fortnight, as well as being one of the 12 projects directed or co-directed by women in this year’s line-up. Others include Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava and documentary Futura from Alice Rohrwacher, Pietro Marcello and Francesco Munzi.

Of the 24 selected, 22 filmmakers will also be showing their film for the first time at Cannes, with The Souvenir: Part II featuring as the Special Screening during Fortnight 2021.

“Directors’ Fortnight is ground zero for auteur filmmaking,” producer Ed Guiney told The Irish Times. “It’s run by French filmmakers, and it’s there to highlight the work of the most interesting film-makers working internationally. It is for those who are working on the cutting edge of the form. It’s about pushing boundaries. Quinzaine is about celebrating the most interesting film-makers in the world in all their glory.”

“It is the first big postpandemic festival,” Guiney added. “It is going to be exciting to be one of the first films out for the world to see as we are getting back to something like normality.”

Starring Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda’s daughter, The Souvenir: Part II follows a young filmmaker named Julie as she attempts to understand her relationship with Anthony. Over five years, Julie processes her experiences through her filmmaking, culminating in the creation of her graduation film. If Part One is the story of Julie and Anthony, then Part Two is the story of Julie and her creativity.

The Souvenir: Part II is produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, and Emma Norton for Element Pictures, and made in association with BBC Films and the British Film Institute.

The first installment of The Souvenir won the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, and Sight & Sound named it the best film of 2019 after polling an international group of 100 film critics from around the world.

Joanna Hogg and Tilda Swinton have also completed another project with Element Pictures, which was revealed earlier this year to have shot in secret in Wales during lockdown. 

Picked up by A24, The Ethernal Daughter is produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe and Emma Norton for Ireland’s Element Pictures alongside Hogg’s own  JWH Films, with development and production backing from BBC Films. As with The Souvenir, Martin Scorsese serves as executive producer.


Directors’ Fortnight 2021

Opening Film
Ouistreham (Between Two Worlds), dir: Emmanuel Carrère 

Closing Film
Our Men, dir: Rachel Lang

The Souvenir, dir: Joanna Hogg

A Chiara, dir: Jonas Carpignano
Ali & Ava, dir: Clio Barnard
Clara Sola, dir: Nathalie Álvarez Mesen
De Bas Etages (A Brighter Tomorrow), dir: Yassine Qnia
Diarios De Otsoga (The Tsugua Diaries), dirs: Miguel Gomes & Maureen Fazendeiro
El Empleado Y El Patron (The Employer and the Employee), dir: Manuel Nieto Zas
Entre Les Vagues (The Braves), dir: Anaïs Volpé
Europa, dir: Haider Rashid
Futura, dirs: Pietro Marcello, Alice Rohrwacher & Francesco Munzi
Jadde Khaki (Hit the Road), dir: Panah Panahi
Intregalde, dir: Radu Muntean
Luaneshat E Kodres (The Hill Where Lionesses Roar), dir: Luàna Bajrami
Les Magnétiques (Magnetic Beats), dir: Vincent Maël Cardona
Medusa, dir: Anita Rocha da Silveira
Murina, dir: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović
Neptune Frost, dirs: Saul Williams & Anisia Uzeyman
A Night Of Knowing Nothing, dir Payal Kapadia
Re Granchio (The Tale Of King Crab), dirs: Alessio Rigo de Righi & Matteo Zoppis
Retour A Reims (Fragments), dir: Jean-Gabriel Périot
Yong An Zhen Gu Shi Ji (Ripples Of Life), dir: Shujun Wei
The Sea Ahead, dir: Ely Daghe
The Souvenir Part II, dir: Joanna Hogg

Cannes Film Festival takes place July 6th – 17th.

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