The widely anticipated 70th season of the glamorous international Festival de Cannes will be held from the 17th to the 28th of May. It is one of the world’s most publicized events and the most important film festival in terms of worldwide impact – it will dictate the films that will be talked about for the following year, and indeed, for many years in the future. The festival is an international showcase for movies, and brings wider attention to the kinds of films often ignored by the cultural bubble of Hollywood. The anticipation could hardly be any higher, and as always, interesting projects will emerge from the event if the competition line-up is anything to go by. HelloMonaco will delve into the particularities of this year’s festival, including the all-star jury, the most anticipated films, and intriguing facts from the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
The overriding purpose of the Festival de Cannes has always been to draw attention to and raise the profile of films, with the aim of contributing towards the development of cinema, boosting the film industry worldwide and celebrating cinema at an international level. This has always been the vision for the festival and those involved have remained faithful to this original idea over the years, since it was founded in 1946. The invitation-only festival held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world in a range of languages.
The main event of the festival is the well-awaited Official Selection, which includes films competing for the Palme d’Or, films from cultures near and far in Un Certain Regard, as well as selected short films from schools around the world in Cinéfondation. The main category serves to highlight the diversity of cinematic creation through its different sections – it is a veritable mix of films, some representing “arthouse cinema with a wide audience appeal”, others that have an original aim and aesthetic guaranteed to make a strong impact on screen. The festival also showcases historical films, some restored specifically for the event, screened under Cannes Classics to honour the history of cinema and delight the ‘cinephiles’.
The Festival’s board of directors has appointed this year’s jurors, chosen from a wide range of international artists, based on their body of work and reputation. Spanish film director and screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar has been selected as the President of the Jury for this year’s festival, alongside the beautiful Italian actress Monica Bellucci who will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies. The Jury for the 70th Festival de Cannes will be made up of eight key figures from the film industry, including actress and producer Jessica Chastain, actor, producer and musician Will Smith and director and screenwriter Paolo Sorrentino, as well as Maren Ade, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-wook, and Gabriel Yared. The successful and iconic American actress, Uma Thurman, will preside the Un Certain Regard jury – she is no stranger to the Festival de Cannes, playing Quentin Tarantino’s muse in the 1994 Palme d’Or winning film Pulp Fiction.
The opening film for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival will be Ismael’s Ghosts directed by French director Arnaud Desplechin, which follows the dramatic story of a filmmaker whose life is sent into a tailspin by the return of a former lover just as he is about to embark on the shoot of a new film. It stars famous French actors such as Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg, alluding to another star-studded festival that will be full of big names, a tradition of the Cannes Festival. It is hard to say which selected film warrants the most attention; Esquire designates Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled as one of the most anticipated films this year, an adaptation of a Thomas Cullinan Southern Gothic tale about an injured Confederate soldier who takes up in a woman’s residence only to find his stay turn horrific. The director has been applauded for her immense talent, the trailer is captivating and the cast is incredible, which includes Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell and Kirsten Dunst. Kidman and Farrell star in yet another hotly anticipated film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, by Yorgos Lanthimos, considered to be ‘the man of the moment in the European cinema lately’ for his ability to create such diverse films. Michael Haneke’s film Happy End makes the list as well, as some say ‘he is the greatest director of the 21st century’, proved by his two Palme d’Or winning streak.
As always, the wealthiest people in the world will descend upon the famed Cote d’Azur for the annual Cannes Film Festival – you’ve probably already noticed the increase of super yachts parked in the neighbouring waters, already positioned in enviable spots. Andrey Melnichenko’s striking yachts designed by Philippe Starck were one of the first to arrive, the Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich is currently headed towards the Riviera in his $400 million yacht, and the yacht belonging to the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen worth $20.1billion, is docked by the port of Cap Ferrat.
Interestingly, a dispute between the Cannes Film Festival and Netflix, the $70 billion American movie and television streaming service, erupted just a few days before the festival is set to take place, a battle that ‘goes to the very heart of the future of the modern film industry’. Cannes Festival demanded that Netflix not stream the selected films, however the company supposedly ‘chose to ignore the big screen, streaming the films on television’. Netflix has refused to wait three years before making the featured movies available, forcing the festival organisers to tighten their rules: ‘any film that wishes to compete at Cannes will have to commit itself to being distributed in French movie theatres’.
The historic Festival de Cannes is set to be as exciting and glamorous as always and is definitely not one to miss!