NFTS Grads Compete for Palme D’Or at Cannes


NFTS Grads Compete for Palme D’Or at Cannes

Adding to 6th Consecutive Cinéfondation Selection

(Still from You Were Never Really Here)

In addition to NFTS students enjoying their sixth consecutive Cinéfondation short film selection at this year’s Cannes film festival, NFTS graduates are also competing for the prestigious Palme D’Or in the main competition and in the short film section!

NFTS alumna, Lynne Ramsay’s latest film You Were Never Really Here is playing at the festival and is one of the 19 films battling for the Palme D’Or in the main competition section. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, and backed with National Lottery funding through the BFI Film Fund, Ramsay’s film is adapted from a novella of the same name by the American author Jonathan Ames. NFTS Cinematography graduate, Tom Townend is credited on the film as DoP.

Fiction, A Drowning Man, directed and produced by Directing Fiction graduate Mahdi Fleifel and edited by NFTS alumnus, Michael Aaglund is one of just nine films selected from 4,843 submissions to compete for the Short Film Palme d’Or.

NFTS graduation film Wild Horses, directed and written by Rory Alexander Stewart and produced by Rebecca Smith, was picked from 2600 works submitted by film schools from all over the world and is one of just 16 films selected for the Cinéfondation short film programme. Rory said of his film’s selection: “It’s a huge honour for our film to be selected at Cinéfondation. I would like to thank the whole team for their efforts and look forward to seeing the screening with the team at Cannes!”

About You Were Never Really Here

A former Marine and ex–FBI agent, Joe has seen one too many crime scenes and known too much trauma, and not just in his professional life. Solitary and haunted, he prefers to be invisible. He doesn't allow himself friends or lovers and makes a living rescuing young girls from the deadly clutches of the sex trade. But when a high-ranking New York politician hires him to extricate his teenage daughter from a Manhattan brothel, Joe uncovers a web of corruption that even he may not be able to unravel. When the men on his trail take the only person left in the world who matters to him, he forsakes his pledge to do no harm. If anyone can kill his way to the truth, it's Joe.

About A Drowning Man

Alone and far from home, The Kid makes his way through a strange city looking for the means to get through his day. Surrounded by predators he is forced to make compromises merely to survive, his life of exile grows one day longer. 

About Wild Horses

Joan’s efforts at teenage rebellion are frustrated by her illness and her overbearing mother, until her increasingly vivid dreams and an overzealous tutor inspire her to realise her independence.

Wild Horses was made by a group of graduating NFTS students including Rory Alexander Stewart, Director/ Writer; Rebecca Smith, Producer; Samira Oberberg, Cinematographer; Celetria Kimmins, Production Designer; Sophie Halton, Production Manager; Fiona Brands, Editor; Nick Olorenshaw, Production Sound Mixer; Ashley Sinani, 1st Assistant Sound; Segun Akinola, Composer; Michael Roy Johnson, Sound Editor & Re-recording Mixer; Kelvin Chim, CG Artist; Gillian Simpson, Compositor; Alex Davis, Colourist & Online Editor.

Other projects that credit NFTS graduates at Cannes include:

Happy End directed and written by Michael Haneke and competing in the main competition (UK Production Manager, Rob Watson; Production Assistant, Fawzia Mahmood)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, directed by John Cameron Mitchell is to receive its world premiere at Cannes (Production Co-ordinator, Hussain Ahmed; Production Manager [Film4], Kasia Malipan)

Wind River, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan is to screen as part of the Un Certain Regard selection (Orchestrator/Conductor, Ben Foster)

Mobile Homes, directed by François Pirot  is to screen as part of the Directors Fortnight selection (DoP, Benoit Soler; Editors, Nicolas Chaudeurge and Andonis Trattos.

I Am Not a Witch, directed by Rungano Nyoni is also screening as part of the Directors Fortnight selection (Producer, Emily Morgan; Gabriel Gauchet, Associate Producer/Location Manager)

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of our alumni, apply for our Directing Fiction MA by 4th May at