Film And Glamour At The 68th Festival De Cannes

En français

The Cannes Film Festival is a legendary French cinematic event of global renown. The sun of the Côte D’Azur has shone on the Cannes event, held annually on the famous seafront boulevard la Croisette since the festival’s foundation in 1946. This year, the 68th Cannes Film Festival will take place from the 13th to 24th of May.

A world-renowned cast

Every year, the most anticipated moments of the Cannes Film Festival are not really the film screenings, but rather the daily procession of the globe’s biggest cinematic stars on the red carpet! Who will next walk through the entrance of the Palais des festivals, keenly watched by thousands of photographers and cameramen? More importantly, which dress or suit will they be wearing? Eagerly awaiting film stars from around the world, over 4000 journalists cover the event each year.

And in terms of stars, this year will not disappoint. On the competition side, American directors Joel and Ethan Coen will preside over the jury of the Feature Films category, Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini will oversee the jury of Certain Regard and Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako will run the judging panel for Cinéfondation and Short Films. Notably, Sissako directed the film Timbuktu which came out on top with seven prizes, including the award for best film, at the 2015 French national film festival the Césars.

Chosen to highlight the 120th anniversary of the Cinématographe Lumière by the Lumière brothers Louis and Auguste, Joel and Ethan Coen are well cast to celebrate this invention and the works of all “brothers-in-cinema”. The Coen brothers are regulars at the festival, as they won a Palme d’Or in 1991 for Barton Fink, a Grand Prix in 2013 for Inside Llewyn Davis and three prizes for best direction.

The French actor Lambert Wilson will once again be Master of Ceremonies for the opening and closing nights of the Cannes Film Festival. Last year he impressed with his elegance and eloquence and concluded with these words: ‘The world is written in an incomprehensible language, but films translate this language universally. Without their light, each of us would remain in the dark”.  In view of the records of attendance at this year’s Australian Alliance Française French Film Festival, we cannot fail to agree with this wonderful quote.

The French with pride of place at this year’s festival

This year, French director Emmanuelle Bercot will open the festival with her film La Tête haute. The film follows the educational journey of Malony, from the age of 6 to 18 years, which both a female children’s court judge and a teacher attempt to save. According to the festival’s General Delegate, Thierry Frémaux, “in a modern cinematic style, this film says important things about contemporary society, clearly engaging in questions of social justice. Its universal appeal makes it an ideal film for the global community who will be present at Cannes”. 

Among the 17 films in this year’s competition, four are French! They are: Erran by Jacques Audiard, Marguerite and Julien by Valérie Donzelli, Mon roi by Maiwenn and A Simple Man by Stéphane Brize. Jacques Audiard and Maiwenn have each taken out a Grand Prix at past Cannes festivals - Audiard for the masterpiece Un prophète and female director Maiwenn for the poignant film Polisse in 2011.

Australia is not completely left out of the festival, as the film Mad Max: Fury Road will be screened as an Out of Competition film. Its Australian director, George Miller, made the first Mad Max movie in 1979. The much anticipated latest instalment of the globally successful film series will be released internationally following its premiere at Cannes on the 14th of May.

Cannes Film Festival promises diverse and intense cinematographic experiences. Enjoy the festival/bon festival !

Adèle Bouet
Pour l'Alliance Française de Melbourne

Translated from French by Bonnie Kate Einsiedel and Laure-Anne Latinier,
students in the Master of Interpreting and Translation Studies at Monash University

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