The announcement of the Cannes Film Festival lineup is always exciting for us here at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, because so many of the selections end up screening at the New York Film Festival and throughout our year-round programming, but this edition is particularly special.
Among the films competing for the Palme d’Or is British director Andrea Arnold’s American Honey. Arnold was our inaugural Filmmaker in Residence, a program sponsored by and created with Jaeger-LeCoultre, during NYFF51 back in 2013. In her time here, Arnold worked on developing the project that would become American Honey. It is her first film shot in the U.S. and its young cast includes Arielle Holmes in her first role since Josh & Benny Safdie’s Heaven Knows What (NYFF52), a portrait of drug-addled, homeless youth living on the Upper West Side that the filmmakers adapted from Holmes’s memoir.
In an interview with Brian Brooks before her residency began, Arnold talked about the project and what she hoped to accomplish.
“My hope is to push something forward,” she said. “We’ve been talking about me going to schools, doing some teaching and talking… perhaps writing with kids. My project is actually about teenagers, so this would feed back into what I’m doing.”
Arnold also described why New York was the perfect place to develop the story she wanted to tell.
“I’m looking forward to being somewhere completely lively,” she observed. “My next project is about a bunch of working-class kids and I want to find something stimulating. I can’t wait to see how these kids interact, what they say.”
The Filmmaker in Residence program is an annual initiative designed to support filmmakers at an early stage in the creative process. Each year, one emerging or established artist will be provided with the opportunity to focus on developing or refining new work. Argentinean director Lisandro Alonso and Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari were chosen for the program in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The 2016 Filmmaker in Residence will be announced in early summer.