Ava Cahen Takes Over as Artistic Director of Cannes Critics’ Week – Global Bulletin

CANNES

Ava Cahen will become the artistic director of Critics’ Week at Cannes from Aug. 1, taking over from Charles Tesson.

Cahen founded the magazine CLAP in 2014 and FrenchMania in 2017 along with the Woody Club she created in 2016. She has been a commentator for the TV program “Le Cercle” on Canal Plus since 2014 and since 2019 for “Une heure en séries,” a radio show on France Inter. She has published several books on cinema and series including “Woody Allen Profession Cynique” (2015), “Cheforama” (2017) and “Game of Thrones” (2019).

In 2016, at 30, Cahen became the youngest selection committee member in the history of Critics’ Week and joined the French Union of Film Critics. She also lectures at Nanterre Paris X University.

SALES

Producer Sean O’Kelly (“Iron Sky”) has teamed with veteran sales agent Marc Bikindou to launch Brilliant Pictures, a venture encompassing production, finance, sales and distribution for film and TV with offices in London and Rome, with the former chairing and the latter as CEO and head of international sales.

Brilliant will launch sales on its slate at Cannes with post-World War II drama based on the best-selling novel by Erri De Luca, “Me, You” (Tu, Mio), to be directed by Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Palme d’Or-winning director, Bille August (“Pelle the Conqueror,” “The Best Intentions”). The slate also includes action-thriller “Dark Shark,” to be directed by Marcus Adams (“Octane”) and true crime thriller “Sinsinawa.”

APPOINTMENT

Discovery Networks senior director of production management Georgina Surtees has joined Big Little Fish TV as COO, where she will work closely with co-founders Mark Procter and Steve Jones, who are also former Discovery Networks executives. She will manage all of the company’s production and business concerns and additionally act as the company’s head of production.

Surtees has had previous stints at Darlow Smithson, Shine, Endemol, Ricochet and Bullseye.

Big Little Fish specializes in the development and production of returnable factual entertainment formats, popular factual-features and factual documentary series.

DISTRIBUTION

British-Kenyan activist and filmmaker Rebecca Achieng Ajulu-Bushell‘s debut documentary “Breakfast in Kisumu” has secured distribution on True Story, an independent streaming platform dedicated to documentaries, and will be available from June 18.

The film follows the journey of an unorthodox Kenyan revolutionary figure, Professor Rok Ajulu, through periods of political exile, prison stints, and great personal sacrifice to the backdrop of the conflict and confusion of post-colonial Africa. Shot across 16mm, VHS, DV and digital featuring music by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the film, edited by Mdhamiri Á Nkemi, unfolds around an interview between father and daughter, exposing fault lines between their beliefs about identity, legacy, and homeland.

It had its world premiere in 2019 at the Cape Town International Film Festival, Encounters, a European premiere at IDFA, Amsterdam, followed by selection in the international category for best short documentary award at film festivals in Italy (Roma Cinema Doc), Portugal (IndieLisboa) then to sold out screenings at London’s biggest celebration of African cinema, Film Africa.

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