Thursday, April 13, 2017

70th Festival de Cannes Official Selection Lineup

Will confess, just caught the last minutes of the press conference but the best part is that had no wait to learn the films!  In less than 20 seconds was able to read all the announced films and my first spontaneous reaction was to how many films Nicole Kidman has in Cannes this year, my horrible omission as loved part 1 of Jane Campion's Top of the Lake and among some surprises learning that Kristen Stewart short film will be screened as part of the 70th Anniversary Events.

Talking about Kristen Stewart, who could imagine that she will be part of group that includes Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion and David Lynch? Not many.  But we have to recognize that she's very talented and no, it's not surprising that she's evolving into directing.  Somehow her development road reminds me of a road traveled by an earlier film co-star; yes,  Jodie Foster.

Among the selection there are some inexplicable omissions but know everyone will be talking about it, so let's talk about the surprises.  For me the biggest surprises are the films that ended up in Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition and Special Screenings like for example, films by Laurent Cantet, Sergio Castellitto, Michel Franco, James Cameron Mitchell and Hong Sangsoo.  On the positive side of the scale, it's a pleasant surprise to see in Special Screenings a film by Vanessa Redgrave and perhaps the most unexpected surprise is to find that one of my favorite directors, Fatih Akin, finished his film and is in competition!

Very pleased with the great news that a French film will open the festival as was afraid it will succumb to a blockbuster that will attract press coverage but meant not much to a great cinema festival.

From the press conference we learn that this year's edition will include four out-of-competition films, three midnight screenings, one special screenings and nine first films out of 1,930 submitted films.  Also that there will be 12 female directors in the official selection, up from 9 last year.

Today 18 films were announced as part of the main competition but expect more to be announced soon, most likely will be one or two films from China.  The best news from the competition come with the many French produced/co-produced films (yay!) which somehow minimizes the too-many American films (lol).

Spontaneously my reaction is that lineup has something for everyone as yes, it has politically charged cinema with themes about the refugee crisis, climate change, mental health and even, exploitation of animals; but also has lots of Hollywood and world cinema A-listers that will grace the red carpet plus what I thought was already a given -but no- it's first time Cannes will screen TV shows;s also for the first time, will have a virtual reality film and last, there are films by Netflix and Amazon which undoubtedly seem like they finally are acknowledging what was not long ago "the future" and the now established way to watch movies via internet streaming that generated enough cash to allow companies to produce their own films.


120 Battements par minute (BMP-Beats Per Minute), Robin Campillo, France
A Gentle Creature, Sergei Loznitsa,  France, Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania
Aus dem Nichts (In The Fade), Fatih Akin, France and Germany
Felesleges ember (Jupiter's Moon), Kornél Mundruczó, Germany and Hungary
그후 Geu-Hu (The Day After), Hong Sangsoo, South Korea
Good Time, Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie, USA
Happy End, Michael Haneke, France, Germany and Austria
Hikari (Radiance), Naomi Kawase, France and Japan
L'Amant Double, François Ozon, France and Belgium
Le Redoutable, Michel Hazanavicius, France
Нелюбовь Nelyubov (Loveless), Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia, Belgium, Germany and France
옥자 Okja, Bong Joon-ho, South Korea and USA
Rodin, Jacques Doillon, France and Belgium
The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola, USA
The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland, UK and USA
The Meyerowitz Stories, Noah Baumbach, USA
Wonderstruck, Todd Haynes, USA
You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay,  France and UK

Out of Competition
Opening Film: Les fantômes d'Ismaël (Ismael's Ghosts), Arnaud Desplechin, France
How to Talk to Girls at Parties, James Cameron Mitchell, UK and USA
無限の住人 Mugen no jûnin (Blade of the Immortal), Takashi Miike, Japan
Visages, Villages, Agnès Varda and JR, France (documentary)

The Jury
President: Pedro Almodóvar, director, screenwriter and producer, Spain
Maren Ade, director, screenwriter and producer, Germany
Jessica Chastain, actress and producer, USA
Fan Bingbing, actress and producer, China
Agnès Jaoui, actress, screenwriter, director and signer, France
Park Chan-wook, director, screenwriter and producer, South Korea
Will Smith, actor, producer and musician, USA
Paolo Sorrentino, director and screenwriter, Italy
Gabriel Yared, composer, France

Check Competition and Out of Competition films basic info and available trailers @MOC

Un Certain Regard

Opening Film: Barbara, Mathieu Amalric, France
على كف عفريت Aala Kaf Ifrit (Beauty and the Dogs), Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia, France, Sweden, Norway, Lebanon and Switzerland
(*) Après la guerre (After The War), Annarita Zambrano, France and Italy
(*) En attendant les hirondelles (Until the Birds Return), Karim Moussaoui, Germany and France
Fortunata (Lucky), Sergio Castellitto, Italy
(*) Jeune Femme, Léonor Serraille, France and Belgium
(*) La Novia del Desierto (The Desert Bride), Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato, Argentina and Chile
Las Hijas de Abril (April's Daughter), Michel Franco, Mexico
L'Atelier (The Workshop), Laurent Cantet, France
لِرد Lerd (Dregs), Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran
(*) Out, György Kristóf, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia and Latvia
ПОСОКИ Posoki (Directions), Stephan Komandarev, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Germany
散歩する侵略者 Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha (Before We Vanish), Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan
(*) Tesnota (Closeness), Kantemir Balagov,  Russia
Western, Valeska Grisebach, Germany, Bulgaria and Austria
(*) Wind River, Taylor Sheridan, UK, Canada and USA

Un Certain Regard Jury
President: Uma Thurman, actress, USA

Check Un Certain Regard films basic info and available trailers @MOC

Special Screenings
12 Jours (12 Days), Raymond Depardon, France (documentary)
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, USA (documentary)
(*) Demonds in Paradise, Jude Ratman, France and Sri Lanka (documentary)
Keul-Le-Eo-Ui-Ka-Me-La (Clair's Camera), Hong Sangsoo, France and South Korea
Napalm, Claude Lanzmann,  France (documentary)
Promised Land, Eugene Jarecki,  UK and USA (documentary)
Sea Sorrow, Vanessa Redgrave, UK (documentary)
(*) They, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, USA and Qatar

Midnight Screenings
A Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, UK and France
악녀 Ak-Nyeo (The Villainess), Jung Byung-Gil, South Korea
불한당: 나쁜 놈들의 세상 Bulhandang (The Merciless), Byun Sung-hyun, South Korea

Virtual Reality (Film/Installation/Exhibition)
Carne y Arena, Alejandro González Iñárritu, USA

70th Anniversary Events
24 Frames, Abbas Kiarostami, Iran
Come Swim, Kristen Stewart, USA, 17'
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Jane Campion and Ariel Kleiman, Australia, UK and New Zealand
Twin Peaks, David Lynch, USA

Check Special Screenings, Midnight Screenings, Virtual Reality and 70th Anniversary Events films basic info and available trailers @MOC

(*) First Film. Competes for the Camera d'Or.

Camera d'Or Jury
President: Sandrine Kiberlain, actress, France

Short Films Competition

According to the official website, this year the selection committee received 4,843 short films and to my huge surprise out of that quite large number of films, only selected nine (9).

Usually there are ten (10) films in this competition, so there is one spot that was not filled.  I know there are some years with only 9 while others with 10 films; but we can't deny that seems almost impossible to understand why out of almost five thousand shorts there was not one to fill another spot. Acceptance ratio is unreal, so filmmakers that made the selection deserve recognition just because they made it! Sigh.

These are the nine short films running for the 2017 Short Film Palme d'Or

A Drowning Man, Mahdi Fleifel, UK, Denmark and Greece, 15'
Across My Land, Fiona Godivier, USA, 15'
Damiana, Andrés Ramírez Pulido, Colombia, 15'
Katto (Ceiling), Teppo Airaksinen, Finland, 15'
Koniec Widzenia (Time to Go), Grzegorza Mołdy, Poland, 15'
Lunch Time, Alireza Ghasemi, Iran, 15'
Pépé le morse (Grandpa Walrus), Lucrèce Andreae, France, 14' (animation)
Push It, Julia Thelin, Sweden, 8'
小城二月 Xiao Cheng Er Yue (A Gentle Night), Qiu Yang, China, 15'

Cinéfondation Selection

This year the Cinéfondation Selection has chosen sixteen (16) films (14 works of fiction and 2 animations), from among the 2,600 works submitted this year by film schools from all over the world. Fourteen (14) countries from three (3) continents are represented. Four (4) of the films selected come from schools taking part for the first time.

These are the short films running for the 2017 three Cinéfondation prizes

À perdre haleine, Léa Krawczyk, La Poudrière, France, 4' (animation)
Afternoon Clouds, Payal Kapadia, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), India, 13'
Atlantída, 2003 (Atlantis, 2003), Michal Blaško, FTF VŠMU, Slovakia, 30'
בן ממשיך Ben Mamshich (Heritage), Yuval Aharoni, Steve Tisch School of Film & Television, Tel Aviv University, Israel, 25'
Camouflage, Imge Özbilge, KASK, Belgium, 24' (animation)
Deux égarés sont morts, Tommaso Usberti, La Fémis, France, 27'
Give Up the Ghost, Marian Mathias, NYU Tisch School of Arts, USA, 13'
حیوان Heyvan (Animal), Bahman Ark, Iranian School of Cinema, Iran, 15'
Láthatatlanul (Invisibly), Áron Szentpéteri,Színház-és Filmművészeti Egyetem, Hungary, 32'
Lejla, Stijn Bouma, Sarajevo Film Academy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 22'
Paul est là (Paul is Here), Valentina Maurel, INSAS, Belgium, 24'
Pequeño Manifiesto en Contra del Cine Solemne (Little Manifesto Against Solemn Cinema), Roberto Porta, Universidad del Cine (FUC), Argentina, 14'
溶ける Tokeru, Aya Igashi, Toho Gakuen Film Techniques College, Japan, 45'
Wild Horses, Rory Stewart, NFTS, UK, 26'
迎向邊疆公路 Yin Shian Bien Jian Gon Lu (Towards the Sun), Wang Yi-Ling, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taiwan, 28'

Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury
President: Cristian Mungiu, director, screenwriter and producer, Romania

To check short films news at official site go here.

Check short films basic info and available trailers @MOC

Check Posters to all films at pinterest here.


One day before the much awaited press conference festival organizers release the short films lineup in the two sections where filmmakers of the future can be identified, the Short Films and the Cinéfondation competitions.  Consequently, as of this moment, the greatest cinema feast has begun in a year that will celebrate a milestone anniversary the 70th since May 31st, 1939 when the city of Cannes and the French government signed the International Film Festival's official birth certificate.

Post will be in progress until after tomorrow's press conference.

The Press Conference with English Translation. If you wish to see it in original language go here.

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