The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Every year, filmmakers, actors, critics, and industry insiders gather in this small French beach town, skipping the sand and sun in favor of dark movie theaters where they screen the best new films on the planet.
For us, Cannes marks an exciting time as well. Aside from the all the glitz and glamour, it’s a moment to celebrate the next generation of filmmakers and video creators — especially the ones who have launched their careers on Vimeo.
Today, we’re sharing a round-up of Vimeo filmmakers at this year’s festival, including the winner of our onsite Staff Pick award. See who made the list, and learn more about their work, below.
1. Ira Sachs
Ira Sachs is making his Cannes debut with his feature film, Frankie, a beautiful and tortured portrait of a family forced to confront conflicting realities. Before Sachs’ recent features Love Is Strange and Keep the Lights On, we knew him for “Last Address,” his ode to New York artists who died of AIDS.
2. Monia Chokri
Monia Chokri’s debut feature film, A Brother’s Love, opened the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s festival. The film follows a directionless woman who relies heavily on her loving brother; when he falls in love with a new girlfriend, she’s forced to untangle herself from her dependency. The film builds on the themes of arrested development Chokri explored in her 2017 Best of the Year-winning short, “An Extraordinary Person.”
Read our recent interview with Monia here.
Michael Angelo Covino’s 2018 short “The Climb” has been turned into a feature film of the same name, which debuted to fantastic reviews in Un Certain Regard. For those who loved the short version, fear not: the feature keeps the short as its first act and builds the rest of the film through six additional chapters that explore the main characters’ toxic friendship.
4. Johnny Ma
Since the Staff Pick Premiere of his award-winning short “A Grand Canal,” director Johnny Ma won big at the Toronto International Film Festival with Old Stone. Now he’s taking Cannes by storm with his second feature, To Live to Sing. Set in the fascinating world of Chinese Sichuan Opera, this film introduces us to an unlikely family as they deal with the pressures of performance and the struggles of keeping their opera troupe afloat as the world modernizes around them.
A decade ago, back when Staff Picks was just starting, Mr. Oizo (a.k.a. Quentin Dupieux) made a bizarre ad/music video for Levi’s about a puppet that couldn’t stay out of trouble. We’ve loved watching Quentin get even weirder ever since, with bizarre features that include Rubber, Wrong, and this year’s Deerskin (which also stars Oscar winner Jean Dujardin).
With an already rigorous and singular aesthetic in place for his Staff Picked film “A Painter,” Pálmason continued to blow our minds with his debut feature Winter Brothers. Now he’s back with his second feature, A White, White Day, which is already the talk of the town at Cannes.
This Staff Pick alum just won the Grand Prix in the Critic’s Week section at Cannes. His debut feature film, I Lost My Body, which took home the prize, also happened to be the only animated feature in competition at the festival. Whether it’s music videos or moody 3D shorts, Clapin always nails it, so we were super excited to see what he cooked up with this latest work.
Lorcan is old school Vimeo, with three Staff Picks from the year the channel started. Now, he’s rubbing shoulders with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots in his latest psychological sci-fi thriller, Vivarium.
9. Pippa Bianco
Pippa Bianco’s new feature, Share, is in a special screening at this year’s Cannes. The feature is based on a short film of the same name, which we awarded with a special jury prize at SXSW. Before this project, Bianco explored the documentary realm; her piece about artist Barbara Kruger was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
10. Jie Weng
Last but certainly not least is Jie Weng, who took home our Staff Pick Award at this year’s festival for his stop-motion animated short, “The Quintet of the Sunset.” With impeccable craft and style, this Chinese animator creates a fantastical world where cats become the characters we’ve always imagined. Following the Staff Pick Award, Weng premiered “The Quintet of Sunset” on Vimeo for the entire world to enjoy.
Watch the film, below.