BAFTA-winning NFTS alumna, Lynne Ramsay, was the talk of the town at Cannes this year with her film, You Were Never Really Here, receiving critical acclaim across the board. The film was awarded ‘Best Screenplay’ (shared with The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and the ‘Best Actor’ accolade went to its star, Joaquin Phoenix. Further NFTS involvement came from Cinematography MA graduate, Thomas Townend who worked as DoP on You Were Never Really Here.
(Still from You Were Never Really Here)
The Telegraph gave You Were Never Really Here a five star review, describing it as ‘an experience fully capable of blowing you away’ while Variety stated: ‘Lynne Ramsay makes a stunning return with this stark, psychologically raddled hitman thriller, led by a quietly furious Joaquin Phoenix’. 
This is Lynne’s second nomination for the Palme D’Or with her best known film, We Need to Talk About Kevin also receiving a nomination in 2011. She hails from Scotland where she studied photography in Edinburgh before coming to the NFTS to enrol on the Cinematography MA in 1992. She won BAFTAs for her short film, Swimmer in 2012 and for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ for Ratcatcher in 2000.
(Still from Ratcatcher)
We Need to Talk About Kevin star, Tilda Swinton, couldn’t have summed it up better when she said in a recent interview that Lynne is “one of those rare directors who creates the kind of films that just would not be there if she didn’t make them.”
(Still from We Need to Talk About Kevin)
All in all, this was a fantastic Cannes for NFTS students and graduates. NFTS students enjoyed their sixth consecutive Cinéfondation short film selection at the festival with Wild Horses, directed and written by Rory Alexander Stewart and produced by Rebecca Smith and A Drowning Man, directed and produced by Directing Fiction graduate Mahdi Fleifel and edited by NFTS alumnus, Michael Aaglund was one of just nine films selected from 4,843 submissions to compete for the Short Film Palme d’Or.