Winner of the Reims event, filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s production also won the Critics’ Prize.
Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s latest feature has taken the Reims Polar jury by storm. The Police Film Festival rewarded its Grand Prix on Saturday evening Assault and its mysterious story of hostage-taking in the middle of a winter storm, at the end of a second edition which also awarded prizes to films from Russia and China.
Thirteenth film by Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Assault recounts, in an absurd register, the hostage-taking of a school by masked men who make no demands. Teachers and parents then organize themselves to come to the aid of the student prisoners. Noted at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 for The tender indifference of the worldAdilkhan Yerzhanov was also awarded the Critics’ Prize for his polar thriller, awarded by a jury of five journalists.
The jury of the Reims Polar festival was chaired this year by the French actor Niels Arestrup, Caesarized for his roles in A prophet and The Beat That My Heart Skipped , two films borrowing from the thriller genre. The president of the Académie des César Véronique Cayla as well as the actress and director Hélène Fillières (Deliberate) were also part of the competition jury.
An international track record
The Jury Prize went to Are You Lonesome Tonight? of the Chinese Wen Shipei as well as TheExecution, by Russian director Lado Kvataniya. This feature film on the arrest of a serial killer, hunted in vain for more than ten years by the Russian police forces and whose guilt no one can prove, was also awarded the Special Police Prize, awarded by a jury special, composed of five members of the police, including three commissioners, an inspector and a controller general of the national police.
Among the ten films in competition, also competing Rhino, retracing the journey and rise of a young delinquent, directed by Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, currently engaged in the war in Ukraine. Only one French film was selected among the titles in competition: Between life and death, by Giordano Gederlini, with Antonio de la Torre and Marine Vacth. The film left empty-handed.
In total, 50 films signed by filmmakers of 20 nationalities were presented during the festival organized from April 5 to 10 in Reims. The event is chaired by Bruno Barde, also at the helm of the Deauville American Film Festival and the Gérardmer Fantastic Film Festival. Reims Polar had to hold its first online edition last year due to the health crisis. The festival paid several tributes during the week, notably to the American director Walter Hill(48 hours, The warriors of the night) and French actor Vincent Lindon.