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di giulia e virginia

aftersun premiere at the cinema miramar, in cannes

Ava Cahen introduces the Cinema Miramar audience to the Aftersun screening. “Hello Miramar, you are about to watch the fourth film in competition at the 61st Semaine de la Critique. The first feature by British director Charlotte Wells takes us back in time to the 1990s on a journey to resort in Turkey for the summer with a lively young woman and her father who’s struggling.” Cahen explains why the movie captured the Semaine de la Critique commission’s hearts: “It’s Charlotte Wells’ delicate take on this father-daughter relationship that won us over, her depiction of their happiest but most intimate yet painful feelings her talent stands out along with her simple clear lines that she draws at her gaze.”

Aftersun is one of those beautiful films that enraptures you by your soul: we sing, we dance, we cry, it’s a generous, radiant and unbelievably moving film with a brilliant cast, Francesca Corio and Paul Mescal are particularly splendid. We fell madly in love with them and their collected characters.”

Charlotte Wells, Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio at the ‘Aftersun’ premiere (Credit: Uncle Yanco / Giulia Giovannini)

director charlotte wells speaks about her film with the two main actors, paul mescal and francesca corio

Cahen then proceeds to introduce the director, Charlotte Wells, and the two main actors of the movie, Paul Mescal and Francesca ‘Frankie’ Corio, acting for the first time in the big screen and as they join her on the stage, Wells takes over the microphone.

“Thank you for being here, we are gonna get started very shortly – I promise!”, the director then acknowledges some of the people who helped producing the picture. “I had my Semaine de la Critique diplomat in my bag and I was mastering the courage to say “thank you” en francaise. I crumbled with my team, not at the prospect of speaking French – even though it happens, too – but at the privilege of being here today, so thank you for inviting us here. My first film, to be part of the selection at the Semaine de la Critique, makes a dream to be here today and tomorrow we will be remembering, I will cherish with eternal thanks.

Wells introduces the two main actors, who are with her on the stage. “To my left stands Paul Mescal, who you may know, and Frankie Corio, who you do not! This film has been seven years and maybe a lifetime in making and, you know, casting is always a trust exercise and that was trust very, very well placed. I am so excited to share this work with everybody today. As a team we kept this film pretty close to the chest and I think those who might know me would say that this is how I live, generally, and yet, here I am presenting Aftersun, which, in many ways, is my past and present and my hopes and dreams, worries and fears, ambitions and ambition… all I got before you in this fifty foot screen about to be filled. You’re the first public, audience for it, so on behalf of myself, my wonderful cast, my beautiful crew – many of whom are here today – thank you for being here and… bonne projection.

Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio at the ‘Aftersun’ premiere (Credit: Uncle Yanco / Giulia Giovannini)

more about the plot and the debut of aftersun

The plot evolves around the figure of Sophie (played by Francesca Corio – and late in the movie by Celia Rowlson-Hall), who as an adult reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Real and imaginary memories fill the gaps between the miniDV footage of their vacation, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew. The audience will not see much of the Sophie of today, but will rather see her younger side, at the time of the holiday. But beyond the momentary thrill of seeing vacations past rendered so clearly, the film is a careful unravelling of the fraying relationship between 31-year-old Callum (Paul Mescal) and his pre-teen daughter, Sophie. 

Aftersun is the first feature film by director Charlotte Wells. Born in Scotland and now living in New York, she wrote and directed three short films as a student in the dual MBA/MFA programme at NYU, where she was supported by BAFTA in New York and Los Angeles. Charlie was included in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 Faces of Independent Film” and participated in the Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Labs 2020.

This feature-length film debut pleasantly surprised the entire auditorium, thrilling the audience and earning a huge round of applause. Visible and clear, the director’s highly intimate point of view towards the story leave a fundamental mark, as Aftersun pays attention to even the smallest details. Melancholic and sunny at the same time — thanks to the heartbreaking performances of Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal — this movie will stir something deep inside you. In a film that’s navigating repressed emotion, Aftersun is also a story about that epiphany, for both characters. Let us hold on to this film and director Charlie Wells for a long time, eagerly awaiting the next works.

Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio at the ‘Aftersun’ premiere (Credit: Uncle Yanco / Giulia Giovannini)

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