Cannes’ Fantastic Pavilion Selects Clare Cooney’s Filmed-In-Chicago Flick ‘Departing Seniors’

The Fantastic Pavilion, a new hub for the genre community set to make its debut at Cannes’ Marché du Film this week, has revealed its seven Gala screenings, and a filmed-in-Chicago feature is among the superb septet. Clare Cooney’s feature film directorial debut, Departing Seniors, will be presented at the Fantastic Pavilion.

Cooney shared in a recent interview with SCREEN, “I couldn’t have asked for a more ambitious and exciting first feature. Jose’s sharp, funny, moving script is an ode to so many classic genre films, and yet uniquely its own. It has been exhilarating to dive into collaborating on this project with a team as diverse as the characters on the page.”

Described as “Scream for the next generation,” the movie filmed in and around the Chicagoland area last August. Click here for Cooney’s full exclusive interview with SCREEN and behind-the-scenes photos from set.

Enter the Fantastic Pavilion

This week at Cannes, from May 16-21, industry professionals will get to “appreciate the diversity of genre offerings coming from all over the world,” tease the organizers. They will also be able to create new alliances and acquire titles from companies like Raven Banner, MPI Media, Screenbound and Mantícora, according to Variety.

“The reason for the Pavilion is that we needed space to do better business and help newcomers integrate more easily, and faster, into this constantly growing industry,” says Fantastic Pavilion executive director Pablo Guisa Koestinger. “Genre needs to take the place it deserves and it’s Fantastic Pavilion’s mission to help to achieve this.”

Walking Dead, Chicago Med Stars Lead Superb Cast and Crew of Departing Seniors

Cooney’s horror-comedy Departing Seniors stars Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, the lead in the Amazon series Primo, alongside a superb supporting cast.

Also starring in the Queensbury Pictures production are Yani Gellman (Pretty Little Liars), Lorena Diaz (Chicago Med), Ireon Roach (Candyman), and Cameron Scott Roberts (The Walking Dead).

Departing Seniors stars Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Ireon Roach, Cameron Scott Roberts, Yani Gellman

Written by Jose Nateras, the film follows witty high school senior Javier (played by Diaz-Silverio), who after witnessing an act of bullying, begins having psychic visions that reveal the horrifying truth behind a rash of supposed suicides at his school. It’s up to him and his sarcastic best friend to unmask the truth behind the grisly occurrences.

The 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival runs through May 27th. Click here for the full lineup and schedule.

Check back here at SCREEN for updates as this film forges ahead, plus the latest in independent film news in Chicago and the Midwest. And you can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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