Festival to Open with Legrand’s Award-Winning “Custody”

Vilnius IFF continues to pay special attention to new talent, choosing Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody” to open the festival. The film received two notable prizes at Venice – best director and the Lion of the Future award for best debut, as well as the audience award at San Sebastian. It masterfully depicts important subject matter, captivating viewers until the last frame.

“Which one of you is the bigger liar?” – asks the judge a divorced couple involved in a bitter custody battle over their son. The story unfolds gradually, with viewers seeing events from each character’s perspective before they get a full picture. The slow-burn suspense builds until this family drama turns into a terrifying story of domestic abuse. Festival director Vida Ramaškienė notes that the film possesses one of cinema’s fundamental qualities – to reflect reality so that it would affect and prompt even the most indifferent people to change.

Legrand’s Oscar-nominated short film “Just Before Losing Everything” (2013) will also be screened during the festival opening. It introduces themes of divorce and conflict that continue to be explored in “Custody”. Both films star Léa Drucker and Denis Ménochet, but the most striking performance comes from the young actor playing their son Thomas Gioria.