Kristen Stewart. Pic/Getty Images
Kristen Stewart. Pic/Getty Images

Kristen Stewart's directing ambitions go all the way back to when she was 11, performing in the 2002 David Fincher thriller, Panic Room. "I was working with Jodie Foster and I was like, 'I'm going to direct. I'm going to be the youngest director that like exists,'" Stewart recalled in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival.

She has made a short film, Come Swim, which, after debuting at Sundance, has been brought to Cannes. It announces the filmmaking ambitions of the 27-year-old actress, who is already developing several other projects and plans to turn Come Swim into a feature-length film.

When she told Foster she was finally making something, Stewart says, "She was like, 'Dude, the first thing you're going to realise is that you have nothing to learn'."

Come Swim is a 17-minute metaphorical rendering of a feeling of the overwhelming oppression of heartbreak and grief. Stewart describes the film as about "aggrandised pain" and says its imagery has haunted her for four years. "You don't realise when you're trudging through that water, you feel so alone. We've all been there. But when you're in it, you feel like you can't participate in life," she says.