Wolf and Sheep wins top Directors' Fortnight Award

CANNES. Shahrbanoo Sadat's "Wolf and Sheep" wins the Art Cinema Award at the Directors' Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival.

Still fra filmen "Wolf and Sheep" af Shahrbanoo Sadat
Photo: Virginie Surdej

Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat wins the Director's Fortnight / Quinzaine des Realisateurs sidebar's top prize, the Art Cinema Award, at the Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature "Wolf and Sheep."

The Danish produced film is inspired by the director's upbringing in an isolated village in Central Afghanistan and portrays the life of a group of Afghan shepherd children in the mountains. Her goal was to depict Afghan everyday life as she knows it.

"When I watched other films about Afghanistan, I always missed something. I know it's a cliché, but I wanted to show the real Afghanistan. I wasn't sure how to make a good film, but I knew what I didn't want to make a film about. Women's rights, the election and bombings were all on my blacklist. I wanted a local to see it and say, 'That's my life'," she says in our interview.

The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "an absorbing ethnographic docudrama hybrid, marbled with a curious vein of phantasmagoric storytelling." Read the review

Shahrbanoo Sadat' first short fiction, "Vice Versa One,” was selected for Directors' Fortnight in 2011. She met her now-producer, German-born, Danish-based Katja Adomeit, when they were paired in CPH:DOX' initiative DOX:LAB, where they co-directed the hybrid "Not At Home" (2013). "Wolf and Sheep" was developed with the Cannes Cinefondation Residency in 2010. 20 years old at the time, Sadat was the youngest participant ever selected.

"Wolf and Sheep" is produced by Adomeit Film and is backed by the Danish Film Institute's talent scheme New Danish Screen. The film is co-produced by La Fabrica Nocturna (France), Wolf Pictures (Afghanistan), Zentropa International Sweden (Sweden) and Film Väst (Sweden).

The Directors’ Fortnight section is essentially non-competitive, but a number of its commercial and cinema industry sponsors arrange prizes.

Cannes Film Festival