‘All These Creatures’.
Australian film All These Creatures has been awarded the Short Film Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film, directed, written and produced by Charles Williams, was one of eight shorts in competition, chosen from almost 4,000 submissions.
Shot in Melbourne, All These Creatures stars 13-year old Ethiopian-Australian Yared Scott as Tempest, a boy trying to understand the dark presence growing inside his father and the events that led to an inexplicable tragedy while his backyard is infested with cicadas.
Williams cast Scott after auditioning more than 400 kids through schools, street casting and call outs. He rewrote the script to include his ethnic background, bringing on Ethiopian-Australian advisors. Mandela Mathia plays Tempest’s father and Helen Hailu his mother.
Elise Trenorden also produced the short, with sponsorship provided by Panavision, Kodak, Park Road, Soundfirm, Savage Rentals, Casting Sugar, The Butchery, The Refinery, The City of Greater Dandenong, Cinelab and Final Sound.
Williams tells IF that the win was “astonishing”, noting he’d already been bowled over by the initial effusive response from the festival’s selectors.
“Somehow that is the the thing that stuck out to me the most – and then everything else is just extraordinary.”
All These Creatures is Williams’ fifth short as a director following I Can’t Get Started, The Cow Thief, There Had Better Be Blood and Home. He also produced Yianni Warnock’s Homebodies, nominated for an AACTA Award 2016.
While in Cannes, he was also shopping two feature projects, including one that is similar thematically and in tone to All These Creatures, though it follows different characters.
All These Creatures was one of two Australian shorts in Cannes this year, the other being Eryk Lenartowicz’s Dots, which screened in the Cinéfondation section. Lenartowicz made his film while completing his Masters at AFTRS.
The winner of the Palme d’Or for feature film was Hirokazu Kore-eda for Shoplifters. Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman won the Grand Prize, while the Jury Prize was awarded to Nadine Labaki for Capharnaüm. The jury, headed by Cate Blanchett, also awarded a Special Palme d’Or to Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book.
The full list of competition winners:
MANBIKI KAZOKU (Shoplifters) by KORE-EDA Hirokazu
BLACKKKLANSMAN by Spike LEE
CAPHARNAÜM by Nadine LABAKI
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Marcello FONTE in DOGMAN by Matteo GARRONE
ZIMNA WOJNA (Cold War) by Pawel PAWLIKOWSKI
BEST SCREENPLAY (TIE)
Alice ROHRWACHER for LAZZARO FELICE (Happy as Lazzaro)
Jafar PANAHI for SE ROKH (3 Faces)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Samal YESLYAMOVA in AYKA by Sergey DVORTSEVOY
SPECIAL PALME D’OR
LE LIVRE D’IMAGE (The Image book) by Jean-Luc GODARD
ALL THESE CREATURES by Charles WILLIAMS
MENTION DISTINCTION BY THE JURY
YAN BIAN SHAO NIAN (On the order) by WEI Shujun