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Cannes: Mexican director Michel Franco's 'Chronic' honored with screenplay award

Cannes: Mexican director Michel Franco's 'Chronic' honored with screenplay award

Posted by PanamericanWorld on May 26, 2015

Mexican director Michel Franco won the best screenplay award at the 68th Cannes Film Festival with his film "Chronic," awarded by a jury that included illustrious screenwriters the Coen brothers and Guillermo del Toro.

The film contemplates the life of a male nurse, played by English actor Tim Roth, caring for terminally ill patients in an emotionally slow, cold and distant manner.

The 35-year-old Franco was previously acknowledged in 2012, with the Un Certain Regard award for his film "After Lucia," and his successful return to Cannes is illustrative of the recognition that is being paid to up-and-coming Mexican filmmakers.

Del Toro told press the recognition "speaks highly of a new generation. Today I saw Michel Franco for the first time in my life, and it surprised me how young he is."

An excited Franco dedicated the award to his grandmother, whose death five years ago inspired him to address the sensitive issue of euthanasia.

"I wrote the script while my grandmother was very ill, after I started thinking about the daily life of someone who has to deal with this illness on a regular basis," said the Mexican director.

He also thanked Roth for his contribution to script's development.

Franco wrote the role for the English actor after meeting him in Cannes in 2012 when Roth was a jury member of the Un Certain Regard section.

"Tim is almost the screenwriter of the film, as well as a great friend," said Franco.

At the jury's appearance to explain its decisions, del Toro said, "The wonderful thing about this script is that it opens a multitude of possibilities for a character who is empty – a character who has had many losses in his life."

The American actor Jake Gyllenhaal thanked Franco for carrying a "public debate on a topic like assisted suicide, which should be discussed by society."

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