From the beaches of Royan to the red carpet of the Croisette in Cannes. This is the incredible adventure that Simon Rieth is about to experience, whom we left last spring while filming, in a village hall in Saint-Sulpice-de-Royan. Three weeks ago, the 26-year-old director learned that his first feature film “Our Ceremonies” had just been selected at the Cannes film festival, which will be held from May 17 to 28, 2022 and whose jury will be chaired by French actor Vincent Lindon. His film caught the eye of the very selective Critics’ Week, devoted to the discovery of young talent. As you can imagine, “Our ceremonies” chosen from among 1,100 other films seen by the members of the selection, does not arrive there by chance. And Simon Rieth must have found out about the names of these illustrious predecessors: Jacques Audiard, Ken Loach, François Ozon, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Wong Kar Wai or even the last gold medal winner Julia Ducourneau were simply revealed by La Semaine of criticism. “Our Ceremonies” will also be the only French feature film among the seven in competition for the Week.
“A Child’s Dream”
This Wednesday, May 4, two weeks from Cannes, the young filmmaker still seems absolutely relaxed. He is on vacation, for a few days in the countryside, after a busy year. “We learned of our selection three weeks ago. It was a very beautiful moment. We were in the car with the two main actors and the producer. We were coming home from a party a little earlier than expected because I was getting my driver’s license the next day. It was she who picked up. I understood from his face what was happening. We were very happy, very proud, it’s recognition. I have been making films since I was a child and it is a dream to go to Cannes”, explains Simon Rieth to us, on the telephone, most naturally in the world.
His film “Our ceremonies” was entirely shot in Royan and its surroundings, the young filmmaker’s childhood place, now based in Montpellier. He wrote the screenplay thinking of his summers spent at his grandmother’s house, with his brother, playing in the garden, going to the beach, then going to nightclubs as a teenager. “A classic summer in a seaside resort,” he summarizes. Intimate memories but burning enough to draw a drama classified as fantastic. From there to access Cannes, it is pointed out to him… “It is the story of two brothers who return to Royan and one of the two has a power… It is a summer chronicle which mixes realism and fantasy . It’s an auteur film, quite original in its form, its staging, its two amateur actors from a random casting. I imagine that’s a bit of all of this that appealed. We shot for two months, then edited for nine months. The film was finished in February. We sent him to Cannes with this hope, ”says the lucky winner.
The Cannes Film Festival begins on May 17. Simon Rieth will only go there from May 20 for four or five days, with part of his team including the two main actors, Simon and Raymond Baur. The young director’s diary is already perfectly full of screenings, interviews, parties, ceremonies, etc. And the icing on the cake, “Our ceremonies” is also eligible for the “Camera d’or”, which consecrates the best first film of the official selection (all sections combined), and chaired this year by the Spanish actress Rossy Di Palma. The opportunity, who knows, to bring out “the costume worn at his cousin’s wedding”.
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Cinema in Charente-Maritime: “Our ceremonies”, from Royan to the Cannes Film Festival