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Good One

Good One by India Donaldson

2024 Champs Élysées Film Festival  : the website



The Feature Film Jury, chaired by director and screenwriter Rebecca Zlotowski, along with actress, singer, and director Alma Jodorowsky, filmmaker and screenwriter Jimmy Laporal-Trésor, producer Marie-Ange Luciani, and director Nicolas Peduzzi, awarded the following prizes:


The Grand Jury Prize for Best American Independent Feature to Good One by India Donaldson. A grant of €11,000 from Banque Transatlantique was awarded to the director to aid in the development of her next feature film.




Good One by India Donaldson





Sam, 17, would prefer to spend the weekend with her friends, but she agrees to join her father Chris in the Catskills region of New York. A paradisiacal place where Matt, Chris’s lifelong friend, is also invited.


With Lily Collias, James Le Gros, Danny McCarthy


“Good One” is a poignant snapshot of a teenage girl’s life, Sam, set amidst the majestic Catskill Mountains in New York State.

Sam, brilliantly portrayed by Lily Collias, embodies a young woman in transition, on the cusp of leaving her family nest and asserting herself in a complex adult world.

The film, the director’s debut feature, sensitively captures the personalities of children, often the eldest, known as the ‘good ones’—those who strive to please, avoid hurting others, and often forget themselves.

The tranquility of nature appears to be Sam’s alter ego as she takes on all the camping chores during what is supposed to be a relaxing weekend, without any offer of help from her father Chris (played by James LeGros) and childhood friend Matt (played by Danny McCarthy).

Discussions about Matt’s dashed dreams frustrate Chris, exacerbating emotional claustrophobia sharply contrasting with the vast natural surroundings.


One evening, a line is crossed. There’s no turning back for Sam, who, without her father’s defense, realizes she must assert herself differently.

“Good One” skillfully avoids clichés of easy resolution.


Instead, it culminates in an intense and emotional sequence where masks drop and truths emerge, marking a turning point for each character.

This subtle yet powerful approach immerses the viewer in the evolving lives of Sam, Chris, and Matt, hinting at a future where shattered patterns can lead to personal redemption.


“Good One” transcends mere family storytelling; it’s a profound exploration of personal growth, gender, and the complex relationships that shape our lives.

Driven by sensitive direction, this film deserves attention for its ability to capture the essence of growing up and finding one’s way amidst family dynamics and a harsh, unforgiving world.

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