Winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, DHEEPAN marks the return of French auteur Jacques Audiard to AFI FEST (RUST AND BONE screened in the Galas section of the 2012 festival). Audiard's latest is another film of slow–burning tension punctuated by explosions of violence, but this time with a protagonist who is at once timely and original. The title character, played by Jesuthasan Antonythasan, is a refugee looking to flee a war–torn countryside. Desperate to be granted status that will allow him to cross the border, he finds an orphan and concocts a fake family for the sole purpose of finding passage to France. Once there, he slowly begins to build a life with this new, odd, familial responsibility. Yet the violence and bloodshed he seemingly left behind still lurk ominously in the background. With nuanced performances and an intelligent script, DHEEPAN cements Audiard's status as one of today's finest living filmmakers. — Lane Kneedler
Born in Paris, Jacques Audiard has to his name numerous internationally lauded features as director and co-writer, including THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED; A PROPHET, which scored the Cannes Grand Jury Prize; RUST AND BONE; and DHEEPAN, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.