Ernest Cole, Lost and Found (Photo: Ernest Cole) and The Brink of Dreams (Cannes)

Ernest Cole Lost and Found, The Brink of Dreams Tie for Cannes’ l’Œil d’Or

Films share festival's documentary prize

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Two documentaries once again tied for the l’Œil d’Or at Cannes. The festival’s 2024 documentary prize was a shared honour between Ernest Cole, Lost and Found, directed by Raoul Peck, and The Brink of Dreams (Les Filles du Nil), directed by Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir. The tie followed last year’s joint honour for Four Daughters and The Mother of All Lies. The award was announced at the festival today in a presentation with jury head Nicolas Philibert (On the Adamant).

Ernest Cole, Lost and Found offers a portrait of the titular South African photographer whose lens captured significant snapshots of the country under apartheid. The film premiered in Cannes’ Special Screenings sections and was among the relatively few documentaries to generate some noise at the festival this year.  In his review, POV critic Jason Gorber observed the synergy between Cole’s photographs and Peck’s presentation of them, noting, “This combination of the aesthetically rich and the politically nuanced sets the film apart.”

Meanwhile, The Brink of Dreams premieres at Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique sidebar. The film, shot over four years, observes a group of four young women in Egypt who aspire to be artists. At Screen, Allan Hunter said the film “offers a window into an often unseen world.”

22 documentaries competed for this year’s award. Cannes didn’t screen a single documentary in its main competition slate, even though critical consensus for the dramas vying for the Palme d’Or was generally muted.

Previous winners for the l’Œil d’Or include All that Breathes, A Night of Knowing Nothing, and Faces Places.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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