Tuesday, March 14, 2017

#Cannes2017 Wish List - Part 2 - Prominent Diversity

As you can imagine, started to write post a while back and a few things have happened that wish to update you all.  First Official Selection submission closed on March 10 but Critic's Week deadline was extended until March 17 and Directors' Fortnight deadline is March 24 with no extensions announced up-to-this moment.

Yesterday reliable news agency AFP announced that the Official Selection press conference will be on April 13 in Paris.  Some industry journalists made extrapolations to estimate Quinzaine and Semaine press conferences but considering their submissions deadline seemed improvable to me. Today better estimates were published with Critic's Week press conference con April 24 and Quinzaine's on April 25.  So we still have a bit less than a month to play around with possible film speculations, buzz and gossip.  Next news from Official Selection has to be the opening film that probably will come before the end of March. End of Update.

I know, there are more interesting French films that should be in anybody's Cannes wish list and will name more later on but today feel like talking about some master filmmakers and their latest oeuvres.

Before getting into one of my most admired directors let's review festival Preselection Conditions and Rules & Regulations 2017 article 3 to remind all the conditions a film has to have to receive an invitation to the Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition and Un Certain Regard).

Preselection Conditions

Only feature films that meet the following conditions may be submitted for consideration by the Official Selection:
• Films that have been produced during the twelve months preceding the Festival
• Films whose distribution is limited to their country of origin
• Films that have not been presented at any international motion picture event. If the film (feature or short) has been selected for an international section (competitive or not) of a festival, it becomes ineligible for the Festival de Cannes. A selection is international if it presents films from different countries.
• Films that have not been shown on the Internet or released on DVD.

Film Duration
In order to be selected as a feature film, your film must be more than 60 minutes long. The Festival de Cannes does not accept films with a duration of between 15 and 60 minutes. Films with a duration of under 15 minutes can be presented to the Selection of short films.

Rules & Regulations

Article 3
The Board of Directors chooses and invites the films which will be presented in Competition, Out of Competition or for Un Certain Regard. Each film invited to be part of the Official Selection by the Board of Directors will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Only films that meet the following conditions may be chosen for invitation in the Official Selection:

-Films that have been produced during the twelve months preceding the Festival;
-Films that have not been released anywhere other than their country of origin;
-Films that have not been presented at any other international motion picture event;
-If the film (feature or short) has been selected in an international section (competitive or not) of a festival, it becomes ineligible for the Festival de Cannes. A selection is international if it presents films from different countries;
-Films that have not been exhibited on the Internet;
-Films that respect the aims of the Festival as defined in Article 1;
-If participating in the "short film" category, films that do not exceed 15 minutes in length, including credits.

Most Interesting Directors

As mentioned will open with one of my most admired contemporary directors, Mexican Carlos Reygadas, a master filmmaker that constantly evolves to continuously surprise with most unexpected stories and filmmaking styles.  Also will talk about a master filmmaker that left us last year but leaves an amazing cinematic experience in his body of work and yes, he left a film that now his son could bring to Cannes.  Then there are two well-known female directors plus five less-established directors but all have in common one or more award winning films and a new one that could surprise us once again.

Seems that the first two directors could not have their films ready for Cannes which obviously is a tremendous disappointment for me, sigh.  Is when you go in depth when you learn more about the film and realize there are more chances film will not be finished on time for Cannes 2017; still, will leave info here.

Carlos Reygadas with Donde Nace La Vida (Where Life Begins)

According to available film info seems Reygadas will go this time beyond whatever I could imagine as not only he directs film but also is the lead actor plus his real-life partner, Natalia Lopez plays the female lead in a story about a beautiful family which battles to balance remnants of the old world and the modernity of their existence.

Just found the most unpleasant news, film most likely will NOT be ready for Cannes 2017 as filmming is expected to go until the end of the year; but, will leave info here as most are predicting will be in Cannes 2018.  Oh! you have no idea how much I wish news are not accurate, so film will premiere this year, sigh.

Mantarraya Mexico) produces in co-production with Nodream Cinema (Mexico), Le Pacte (France), Luxbox (France), Cinema du Monde (France), ZDF (Germany), Sorfond (Norway), Mer Film (Norway) and Snowglobe (Denmark).  Sales Agent is The Match Factory.

Abbas Kiarostami with 24 Frames

As most are saying and definitively I agree, Cannes screening of Kiarostami's last film would be a fitting tribute to the master filmmaker and two-time Palm d'Or winner.  During the recent WGA awards where Kiarostami received an honorary award, his son mentioned that film was in post-production; so, there are possibilities film could go to Cannes and if not, surely will be in Venice.

Kiarostami's last film is an experimental film, which was not his usual style in his latest films, and seems is a compilation of 24 four-and-a-half-minute short films, all made throughout the past three years.  Two of the four-minute segments where presented at Lumiere festival during a tribute to Martin Scorsese in November 2015.  According to those that have seen some of the shorts, cinematography will be quite unusual for Kiarostami as will play with the color blue.

I love his films and know they will live forever; know he likes to play with color in many of this film, usually in a subtle way but this experimental film is driving me crazy and can't wait to be able to see film as somehow imagine "something" in the style of Hernri-Georges Cluzot's L'enfer.  Should not have expectations but hope to soon find how close or far-away I am with what I imagine, sigh.

Lucrecia Martel with Zama

One of the most awaited film after a too-long silence (her last feature film is 2008 Headless Woman) from one of the most-interesting Argentinian filmmakers; perhaps now this epic film will open in Cannes as IMDb already has June 1st release date in Argentina.  Unfortunately one of the film producing companies is El Deseo, so if film makes it to Cannes will not be in competition as that's Almodovar brothers production company and Pedro is the Jury president for the 2017 edition.

Still film could end up in Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition but most likely could go to Directors' Fortnight parallel section.

Based on the novel by Antonio Di Benedetto written in 1956, tells about Don Diego de Zama a Spanish officer of the 17th century settled in Asunción, who awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires.

Film is produced by Rei Cine (Argentina) and Bananeira Films (Brasil), co-produced by El Deseo (Spain), MPM Film (France), Patagonik Film Group (Argentina), Louverture Films (USA), Canana (Mexico), Lemming Film (Netherlands), O Som e a Fúria (Portugal), KNM (Switzerland), Picnic Producciones (Argentina) and Nederlands Filmfonds (Netherlands).  International Sales by The Match Factory.

Naomi Kawase with  光 Hikari (Radiance)

Naomi Kawase undoubtedly is a Cannes favorite and no one is more glad than me as yes, I love her serene filmmaking style with the most breathtaking cinematography absolutely integrated into the storytelling.  She has been in competition three times, won the Grand Prix in 2007 with outstanding The Mourning Forest, became the youngest person to win the Camera d'Or with Sukazu, and served on the main competition jury, becoming the first Japanese to do so.  Then the festival sidebar Directors' Fortnight awarded her the 2009 Carrosse d'Or an award that celebrates her lifetime achievement.

So have very little doubt that her latest film will make it to Cannes and published release date, May 27, only gives clues to confirm it.

Story follows the social intercourse between a cameraman, Masaya (Masatoshi Nagase), with a lazy eye and Misako (Ayame Misaki) who disconnects from the world.  Not much more is known but film already has a trailer plus a beautiful poster.

Produced by Comme des Cinémas (France), Kumie (Japan) and Kinoshita Management (Japan.) Distribution by Haut et Court and International Sales by MK2.

Kornél Mundruczó with Felesleges ember (Superfluous Man)

A couple of years ago not many knew about this Hungarian director but then everything changed when he did White God that premiered in Cannes and went to win the Un Certain Regard Award in 2014.  Yet, his two previous films also were in Cannes.  Definitively his latest film has high chances to make it to Cannes and just wonder if suggested story could propel film into the competition or maybe will go to a parallel section.

There is not much info in English but seems story is about a refugee boy with superpowers that befriends a doctor and the background is the refugee crisis. Story deals with topics of faith and the lack thereof.  Found more info:  the story is set in the Europe of tomorrow and is about 17-year-old Ariel, a young boy who attempts to illegally cross the border into Hungary. Unfortunately, his endeavors to escape are unsuccessful, and he is hit by the bullet of an aggressive police officer. As a result of the wound, the boy is endowed with a unique ability: he is able to levitate, just like an angel. The following day at the refugee camp, a disillusioned, cynical doctor, Stern, examines the boy. Upon realizing his capability, Stern decides to smuggle the refugee out of the secured camp in order to exploit this gift in his own interests. In the meantime, however, the camp’s director is soon on their trail...

Production is by Proton Cinema (Hungary) and The Match Factory (Germany). International sales are being handled by The Match Factory.  Film has been pre-purchased by ZDF-ARTE. Unfortunately director has been lured to work in America so his next film Deeper -starring Bradley Cooper- will surely not make it into the festival circuit.

Urszula Antoniak with Pomiędzy słowami (Beyond Words)

Simply loved mesmerizing Antoniak's first feature Nothing Personal that went to win 2009 Best First Film at Locarno. Since then she has gone to Cannes parallel section with her second feature, controversial Code Blue; but her third, also very controversial Nude Area opened in a local Polish festival.  So, there are chances that Antoniak's latest opus could go to Cannes and if not, then Locarno seems like the most likely fest to premiere film.

Film tells the story of  Michael (28) a German lawyer in Berlin who is visited by his distant father from Poland. During one weekend, father and son, strangers to each other, develop empathy and friendship. After his father’s departure Michael realizes his displacement. The city he lives in the only place he belongs to.

A co production between Family Affair Films (Netherlands), Opus Film (Poland) and Niko Film (Germany).

Małgorzata Szumowska with Twarz (Face)

My first Szumowska film was Elles and yes, went back to see some of her previous work and forward into In the Name of (2013 Berlinale Teddy award winner) and Body (2015 Berlinale Best Director winner).

Even do she has done several award winners films, she has never been in Cannes, so perhaps this year will be her chance to be in the most famous festival in the world, after being in Berlin and Locarno.

Poland's TVN Film is the co producer along her Nowhere Films production company.  Story is based on real events and revolves around a man who had a transplanted face and the search of a new identity in contemporary Poland.

There is not much info about film which makes me somehow doubt if film will be ready for Cannes or if will go to other film festivals as one thing I'm sure, her films will open in a major film festival or at least in other European film festival.

Ruben Östlund with The Square

Östlund has been one of my favorite contemporary directors since his outstanding 2008 De Ofrivilliga (Involuntary), can't say enjoyed Play but then his 2014 Cannes UCR winner Force Majeure was another tour-de-force in Nordic cinema that blew my mind.  Now he has been lured into the world of  English-spoken films BUT have hope as even do film has USA money, is a co production with Sweden, Germany, and France.  Sigh.

If film is as interesting as his great films then have NO doubt that film will be in Cannes and after premiering twice in Un Certain Regard perhaps is time to graduate into the main competition.

Film follows a museum manager in charge of an exhibition space that houses a new installation providing people with a symbolic space where only good things can happen. The movie’s protagonist is the manager of the museum who hires a ruthless PR firm to build some buzz around the installation, but the publicity evokes a public uproar.  More specific story-line tells about a city square where there are no rules and people can do whatever they want.

Produced by director's production company Plattform Produktion, Film i Väst, Société Parisienne de Production - Coproduction Office, Essential Filmproduktion, ARTE Deutschland. Sales are by Coproduction Office and USA rights have been pre-sold to Magnolia Films.

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