Cannes calls These Final Hours

22 April, 2014 by Don Groves

These Final Hours, an Apocalyptic thriller from first-time writer-director Zak Hilditch, will screen at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight section in May.

Its selection enhances the Australian profile at the festival with David Michôd’s The Rover getting a midnight screening out of competition and Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country showing in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.


“I think it’s every director’s dream to have their work screen in Cannes. This is a huge achievement for everyone who worked on the film,” Hilditch told IF on Tuesday night.

In a joint statement with his producer Liz Kearney, he continued, “We are feeling so excited and proud to have our debut feature film selected for Directors' Fortnight. We are really looking forward to sharing These Final Hours with an international audience for the first time and could not ask for a better platform to premiere the film internationally in. We feel it is a perfect fit.”

It’s the first Australian film invited to Directors’ Fortnight since Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s short film Cicada in 2009. Wolf Creek’s Nathan Phillips plays a self-obsessed young guy who makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth but ends up saving the life of a girl (11-year-old Angourie Rice) who’s searching for her father.

Sarah Snook, Daniel Henshall, Jessica De Gouw and Kathryn Beck round out the cast. Rice made her debut in Transmission, Hilditch’s short film produced by Kearney, the tale of a deadly pandemic and its impact on a father-daughter relationship, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Since its inception in 1969, Directors' Fortnight has showcased the first films of Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Nagisa Oshima, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Ken Loach, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Haneke, Chantal Akerman, Spike Lee, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Sofia Coppola, Robert Bresson, Manoel de Oliveira, Stephen Frears, Jerzy Skolimowski, William Friedkin and Francis Ford Coppola, among others.

In his mentoring role for young and emerging producers, Arenamedia's Robert Connolly executive produced These Final Hours, which Roadshow will release on July 24. It won the critics’ prize for best Australian film at the Melbourne International Film Festival last year

The thriller was funded by Screen Australia, Screen West’s West Coast Visions initiative, the MIFF Premiere Fund and the producer offset. International sales are being handled by Celluloid Nightmares.

The Australian presence includes Nicole Kidman in Grace of Monaco, the festival opener,  Ben Mendelsohn in Lost River which will screen in Un Certain Regard, and official competition entries Maps to the Stars, which stars Mia Wasikowska, and The Homesman, which features Miranda Otto. Australian Sam Holst has been selected for the Cannes Cinéfondation Résidence in Paris.

French director Céline Sciamma’s Bande De Filles (Girlhood), the final in a trilogy of films dealing with childhood and adolescence, will open Directors' Fortnight  on May 15. The closer is British director Matthew Warchus’ gay activist comedy Pride.  Here is the line-up:

Special Screenings

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Tobe Hooper

Li’l Quinquin Bruno Dumont

Feature Competition

Halleluiah Fabrice Du Welz (Belgium/France)

Next to Her Asaf Korman (Israel)

Catch Me Daddy Daniel Wolfe (UK)

Cold in July Jim Mickle (US)

Fighters Thomas Cailley (France)

Gett Le Proces de Viviane Amsalem Ronit and Shlomi El Kabetz (Israel, France, Germany)

Tale of Princess Kaguya Isao Takahata (Japan)

A Hard Day Seong-Hun Kim (South Korea)

Eat Your Bones Jean-Charles Hue (France)

National Gallery Frederick Wiseman (France/US)

Pride Matthew Warchus (UK)

Queen and Country John Boorman (UK)

Refugiado Diego Lerman (Argentina, France, Germany)

These Final Hours Zak Hilditch (Australia)

Tu Dors Nicole Stephane Lafleur (Canada)

Whiplash Damien Chazelle (US)

Short Films

8 Bullets Frank Ternier (France)

The Revolution Hunter Margarida Rego (Portugal)

Cambodia 2099 Davy Chou (France)

In August Jenna Hasse (Switzerland)

Fragments Aga Woszczynska (Poland)

Guy Moquet Demis Herenger (France)

Jutra Marie-Jose Saint-Pierre (Canada)

Man on the Chair Dahee Jeong (France/South Korea)

Heartless Nara Normande and Tiao Tiao (Brazil)

Torn Elmar Imanov and Engin Kundag (Azerbaijan)

It Can Pass Through the Wall Radu Jude (Romania)