Tuesday, April 15, 2014

67th Festival de Cannes News

I was waiting for fest organizers to unveil poster to share all the fest available news before next Thursday when the Official Selection will be announced but poster was so stunning that gave a post just to talk about it. So here are the fest news up to today.

Main Selection

This year the festival jury has a woman as president and is none other than Jane Campion that has a long history with the festival, starting by being the ONLY female director to have won the Palme d'Or for The Piano in 1993, being the unique double of also wining the Short Film Palme d'Or for Peel in 1986, to last year winning the Carrosse d'Or given by La Société des réalisateurs de films and was The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury President. Her Cannes story continues with having her first feature film, Sweetie, screened in Competion as well as her film Bright Star and being part of great collective adventure of To Each His Own Cinema.

Thierry Frémaux says: “We are immensely proud that Jane Campion has accepted our invitation. Following on from Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Huppert in 2009, she is the latest distinguished name to grace a prestigious roster of female Presidents. Coming from a country and indeed a continent where film is a rare but powerful phenomenon, she is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public. And we are confident that her exacting approach will be mirrored by her Jury.”

On other news we already know one film that is in the Official Selection and next Thursday we will learn if is In or Out of Competition, Grace of Monaco by Olivier Dahan. Unfortunately the film is plagued with very bad news that start with Grace family not approving the film and go to a terrible fight between the director Olivier Dahan and the US distributor (yep, Weinstein). They are fighting with what to include in the final cut, so I'm wondering what will be shown in Cannes: the director's cut or the US distributor cut? I just hope that French distributor Gaumont allows Dahan to make the movie he envisioned and that version is the one shown in Cannes. Sigh. If you do not remember the director let me remind you that he became quite famous thanks to his 2007 film La Vie en Rose with Marion Cotillard in the role that gave her the Best Actress Oscar in 2008.

Un Certain Regard

Another movie that we already know will be in the Official selection is Party Girl a first film written and directed by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis, a film that will open the Un Certain Regard section.

Party Girl shows the life of Angélique, a 60 year-old night club hostess who still loves men and enjoys partying, but now as the senior member on staff, feels she has reached the end of the line. On an impulse, she agrees to marry her regular client, Michel. The film is a portrait of a free woman who has chosen to live on the margins of conventional society, and delves deep into a France that is often underrepresented. With total realism, the lead role is played by the real-life Angélique.

On other section news, it was announced that none other than Pablo Trapero is the Jury President that will choose a winner among some 20 films that will be announced next Thursday. After learning this honor he commented:

“I am very proud to serve as President of the Jury for Un Certain Regard. Proud to take part in another way in the adventure in Cannes. Un Certain Regard, where I have presented three of my films, is always a very exciting selection. It brings us grand masters, promising young talent, new countries and new forms of cinema.”

Pablo Trapero was born in Argentina in 1971. His first feature film Mundo Grúa received the Critics’ Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1999. His second, El Bonaerense, was selected in 2002 at the Festival de Cannes (Un Certain Regard). In 2008, Leonera, screened in Competition at the Festival de Cannes, reveals the exceptional talent of actress Martina Gusman (his wife). Carancho (2010) and Elefante blanco (2012), critically acclaimed internationally, were both presented in Un Certain Regard.

Cinéfondation and Short Films

The 2014 Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury will be presided by Abbas Kiarostami (Iran), supported by directors Noémie Lvovsky (France), Daniela Thomas (Brazil), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad), and Joachim Trier (Norway). They will be tasked with awarding three prizes to films submitted by students from film schools the world over, which will be presented in the Cinéfondation Selection, to be announced at a later date. The Jury will also decide the Short Film Palm d’Or to be awarded at the prize-giving ceremony on Saturday 24th May.

Abbas Kiarostami, the Iranian director and screenwriter, is one of the greatest directors of contemporary cinema. After rising to international fame with Où est la maison de mon ami ? (1987), Abbas Kiarostami has since presented a number of his films at the Festival de Cannes, including five in Competition: Through the Olive Trees (1994), Taste of Cherry (Palme d’or 1997), Ten (2002), Certified Copy (2010) and Like Someone in Love (2012). He is also known for his photography work. He has been interested in the Cinéfondation since its creation in 1998, when he agreed to be a patron of the project alongside Martin Scorsese.

Other News

This is the last year that Gilles Jacob is the president of the festival and he will leave the post effective July 1st, 2014, but he will remain as Honorary President of the Festival . If you were expecting -as many did- Thierry Frémauxto be named the new festival president, well you will be disappointed as the honor (and work) went to Pierre Lescure. In twitter Frémaux commented that he was NOT interested in the top post and somehow I believe him as his work as General Delegate is less "political" and more about what we all love: the movies.

The Master of Ceremonies of the 67th Festival de Cannes is Lambert Wilson who will welcome President Jane Campion and her jury on to the stage at the Palais des Festivals during the festival opening ceremony and will host the award ceremony on Saturday May 24th. Wilson’s predecessors in this role include Audrey Tautou, who enchanted the audience last year, Vincent Cassel (2006) and Edouard Baer (2008 and 2009).

The epitome of elegance, this multi-talented artist who describes himself as a "sociable hermit", divides his time between the theatre, the cinema and singing. In film he has excelled in the most eclectic variety of roles, crossing over easily from humour to thrillers, and from art-house to romcoms. He has worked with some of the great names in French cinema, from André Téchiné to Benoît Jacquot, and from Bertrand Tavernier to Alain Resnais.

On the very light news the amfAR, against Sida foundation founded by Elizabeth Taylor, yearly gala will take place on May 22 at Eden Roc with Sharon Stone, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and John Travolta as co-Presidents. Music/entertainment by Lana Del Rey, Robin Thicke and Aloe Blacc. Ah! Indian press claims Aishwarya Rai will be in Cannes for amfAR gala, sigh.

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