Co-winner of this year’s Cannes Jury Prize, The Eight Mountains is the breathtaking story of a deep friendship between two young men whose paths reconnect in the Italian countryside.

Holidaying with his family in an Italian alpine village in the mid-1980s, 12-year-old Pietro befriends local boy Bruno, and they spend an idyllic summer together in this vast, pristine place. But when Pietro’s well-meaning but impetuous dad suggests that Bruno return to Milan with them to study, he inadvertently drives a wedge between the boys. In adulthood, their paths intertwine when Pietro returns to Bruno’s village and they embark on the building of a mountain cabin; as they do, they begin to bridge a crevasse of emotional distance.

Collaborating to adapt Italian author Paolo Cognetti’s award-winning 2016 bestseller, Charlotte Vandermeersch and her partner Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown, MIFF 2013; The Misfortunates, MIFF 2009) have created something mesmerisingly novelistic onscreen: a slow accretion of detail that richly illuminates a life-defining bond. Meanwhile, the gorgeous cinematography by Ruben Impens (Titane, originally slated for MIFF 2021) truly captures the magic and majesty of a region that will always be a part of Bruno, and which never fails to call Pietro back. In all aspects, The Eight Mountains is an achievement – one that is all the more stunning for its quietly compelling subtlety.