The Argentinean film Paulina / La Patota, the second feature film by Santiago Mitre (El Estudiante) has won the top prize at the 54th annual edition of the International Critics’ Week, Cannes’ parallel competitive section. The Nespresso Grand Prize is awarded by the Critics’ Week Jury to one of the seven feature films in competition, and it comes with a cash prize of 10,000 euros.
Starring Dolores Fonzi in the title tole, and Oscar Martínez and Esteban Lamothe the film tells the story of Paulina, 28, who gives up a brilliant lawyer’s career, in order to dedicate herself to teaching in a depressed region in Argentina. In a rough environment, she sticks to her teaching mission and to her political engagement, accepting to sacrifice her boyfriend and the trust of her father, a powerful local judge. Upon her arrival, she is violently assaulted by a gang of young people, some of them being her own students. Despite the trauma and the inability to understand, Paulina will strive to stand for her convictions.
Paulina is a remake of the 1961 Argentinean film La Patota by Daniel Tinayre.
Recent Latin American Critics’ Week winners includes the the US/Mexican co-production Aquí y Allá by Antonio Méndesz Esparza (2012), the Argentinean film XXY by Lucía Puenzo (2007), and Amores Perros by Alejandro González Iñárritu (2000).
Additionally the Colombian film La tierra y la sombra / Land and Shade, the debut feature by César Augusto Acevedo was awarded with the France 4 Visionary Award for Best Emerging Director, and the SACD Award, both accolades come with a cash prize of 4,000 euros each.
The 54th edition of the International Critics’ Week took place May 14-22 at Cannes, France.