CANNES: The director of the “The Artist” is succeeding up his best-picture Oscar-winner with a gritty drama about the Chechen War.

Michel Hazanavicius premiered “The Search” at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, three years after his “The Artist” first debuted at the French Riviera festival. Cannes is where the black-and-white silent film ode became a sensation that carried through the Academy Awards.

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It was one of the most unlikely, out-of-the-blue successes in late years, and Hazanavicius was met with almost unlimited choices for his next film. “I was in a really peculiar position.

I produced a moving picture which didn’t comply with the dominions of the market at all,” said Hazanavicius. “And this film ended up receiving a host of awards and it progressed to money.

 “I delivered the feeling I could make out just about anything I wanted to make out,” he stated.

He preferred to get virtually the antithesis of “The Artist” – a largely light, buoyant film about a star silent film actor.

“The Search” is very roughly based on the 1948 movie by the same name by Fred Zinnemann about an American soldier and a Czech boy in post-World War II Germany.

 Lay during the Second Chechen War of 1999, the film is about a 9-year-old boy (Abdul-Khalim Mamatsuiev) whose parents are accomplished by Russian soldiers.

A second story line develops simultaneously about a 19-year-old Russian (Maxim Emelianov) drafted into the army and – in the manner of “Full Metal Jacket” – made into a callous killing machine.

Annette Bening co-stars as a social actor. Said he didn’t sense any pressure following up “The Artist,” until Wednesday in Cannes.

“The Search” received largely negative reviews and a goodly amount of boos at its debut screening ahead of its Wednesday night premiere.

 Producer Thomas Langmann said Hazanavicius’ insistence on creating a movie around the Chechen War was even more bullheaded and anti-commercial than shooting in black-and-white for “The Artist.”

“You have to be a bit mad, stupid or simply not think too seriously about things,” said Hazanavicius.” Other than you wouldn’t be a director.”Hazanavicius Said he was driven to differentiate a story “that few people have told

 “It went quite a personal issue for me,” stated the French director, who alluded to his Lithuanian descent. “People were being massacred, even the international community was indifferent”.

On his next film, Hazanavicius will return to lighter fare. He’s to make a comedy titled “Will” with Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd.

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