American-made Cannes film 'Krisha' is real family affair

Thu May 21, 2015 6:09pm EDT
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By Rollo Ross

CANNES, France (Reuters) - When American director Trey Edward Shults decided to direct his first feature film, he turned to those he could most rely on to get it made: his family.

    "Krisha", shown at the Cannes festival, is based on events that happened to Shults's family over the years and stars numerous family members, including his mother, Robyn Fairchild, and his aunt, Krisha Fairchild in the eponymous title role.

    Krisha returns to the family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday after years away, hoping to make amends for past troubles she has caused.

Shults said drafting in his family had been essential.

"I knew that was the only way I was going to make this movie because it's so personal ... telling that personal family story literally with family members, shooting in my mum's house in nine days ... That's the way we had to do it and I think that's what made the movie special. I wouldn't have done it any other way."

The film even features Shults's maternal grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer's. During shooting, she was not aware she was appearing in a film.

    The film received favorable reviews and picked up the prestigious Grand Jury Award at the SXSW (South by South West) film festival.

It was shown in the Critics' Week selection at Cannes and was purchased during the festival by the U.S. distributor A24.

(Editing by Michael Roddy and David Gregorio)