Cannes Film Festival

A Guide to The Most Important Film Award Shows

It’s in our nature as humans to appreciate things that stand out from the rest. Whether it’s a sports victory or a notable scientific accomplishment, we love appreciating exception talent and hard work — and the film industry is no different. While there are quite a number of amazing awards shows that every fan of film should check out, below you’ll find a breakdown of perhaps the most-anticipated and important annual film award shows:

The Academy Awards

If there’s one film ceremony that’s more celebrated and anticipated than the rest, it’s the Oscars. Even the trophy itself — a gold-plated bronze figure atop a black metal base — is recognized across the world as arguably the most prestigious award in the industry.

The first Academy Award ceremony was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929, and since then has been overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As one of the original celebrations to entertain people worldwide, the Academy Awards helped give the talented, hardworking people in the industry the attention they deserve.

It also paved the way for other top ceremonies such as Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. You can watch awards in all 24 categories annually, when the ceremony is nationally broadcast. The ceremony is usually held during the early months of every year.

BAFTA Awards

This annual awards show, considered the British version of the Academy Awards, honors the best international and British contributions to film.

The event saw its beginnings in 1947 with The British Film Academy, but then the organization merged with The Guild of Television Producers and Directors in 1958, before becoming the The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in 1976.

Supported by more than 6,500 active members located across the globe, The BAFTA Awards are celebrated for rewarding the best in the industry while also providing special recognition to British films in the form of awards that only UK films are eligible to win. This annual award show has been held in February for the last two decades.

Golden Globe Awards

The Golden Globe Awards are one of the most important film award shows for a number special reasons. Not only are both film and television productions recognized, but it also honors projects from foreign countries as well as from the United States.

The 1st Golden Globe awards were held in 1943 after several writers united to form the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a non-profit group designed to promote and conduct the ceremony.

Golden Globe winners, which are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 93 members, receive their awards during an event viewed by more than 160 countries. The Golden Globes can be seen annually and are responsible for helping to fund important scholarships and programs beneficial to future stars, including the Young Artist Awards presented by the Young Artist Foundation.

Cannes Film Festival Palm D’or Award

Held annually in France, the Cannes Film Festival is renowned for giving new films of all genres, including documentaries, a chance to be seen by important industry professionals for the first time. From the early 1930s to today, Cannes has continued making an impact on Europe and the international film industry by serving as a place for filmmakers to show off their work and talent to an invite-only crowd.

The highest prize — the Palm D’or — is a prestigious award given to the best film of the year. A 24-carat gold palm encased in blue Morocco leather is given to the winner, which is chosen by juries appointed by the Festival’s board of directors. The jury and its president, selected from a body of respectable international artists, meet annually at the historic Villa Domergue to choose the winner.

Filmfare Awards (Clares)

If there’s one international film industry that’s impossible to ignore for its continued growth and relevance, it’s India’s. Comprised of several film markets including Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry, India has become one of the largest film producers on the planet with ticket sales by number oftentimes surpass Hollywood. The Filmfare Awards were founded in 1954 to honor the talent and brilliance of the Hindi language film industry.

Those awarded the “Lady in Black,” the iconic award statuette of a woman performing an upward dancing motion, are chosen by both the public and a committee of professionals. The Filmfare Awards are presented each year by The Times Group and are considered the Hindi film industry’s equivalent to the Oscars. As of 2016, a total of 31 awards are given during the show.

What are your favorite annual film, television, and media awards? Let us know in the comments below! Learn more about Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy.

Cannes 2018: Four Things Everyone is Talking About

We’re fast approaching the 71st edition of the Festival de Cannes, which will be held from May 8-19 in the beautiful resort town in France. Cannes is renowned for shining more light on international films, attracting big names, and only allowing a select few to compete for the top prize. Here are the four topics creating the most buzz around this year’s festival.

Women in Cannes

Cannes prefers keeping their list of films competing for the coveted Palme d’Or to a minimum. This year, directors from all over the globe will be represented among the 17 films that made the lineup. However, the number of female directors represented in the competition at Cannes will be the same as this year: three. They are:

  • Eva Husson (Girls of the Sun)
  • Nadine Labaki (Capernaum)
  • Alice Rohrwacher (Lazzaro Felice)

As one of the most important film events next to the Academy Awards, many industry figures have expressed a desire for Cannes to do a better job of including female filmmakers.

According to festival director Thierry Frémaux, the reason for the low number of female directors is due to wider issues in the industry — mainly a lack of women directors in general. According to the 2017 Celluloid Ceiling report on the top 100 films, only 11% directors were women.

Interestingly enough, this year’s festival jury — headed by Cate Blanchett — will include more women than men.

Impressive Veteran & Debut Films

Some of the biggest names in the industry are set to show off their latest projects at Cannes 2018.

French film legend Jean Luc-Godard, who has never won the Palme d’Or despite having seven of his previous films entered, will compete again with Le Livre d’Image. Spike Lee is aiming to win with his upcoming crime drama BlacKkKlansman. Another American, indie favorite David Robert Mitchell, competes for the first time with Under the Silver Lake.

Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, a love story set during the tense period after World War II, is also set to debut at the festival. Other anticipated special screenings include Wim Wenders’ Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, and upcoming blockbuster Solo: A Star Wars Story by Ron Howard (which will not be competing for the main prize).

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a project Terry Gilliam began almost 20 years ago, will have its world premiere this year.

Diverse Filmmakers From Around The Globe

One of the best things about the Cannes Film Festival is the diversity of filmmakers who range from various homelands.

Egypt’s A.B. Shawky and Japan’s Ryûsuke Hamaguchi will be joining the Palme D’Or race with their respective films Yomeddine and Netemo Sametemo (Asako I & II). Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki is in the run with Capernaum alongside China’s Jia Zhangke with A Touch of Sin. South Korean director Yoon Jong-bing didn’t make the competition lineup but will have his thriller The Spy Gone North get a midnight screening.

Two directors currently at odds with their home governments also made it into the main films selection. Iranian film director Jafar Panahi, who will have his drama film Three Faces featured at the festival, is currently banned from leaving his country. Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov will also not get to see his Soviet rock drama Leto screen at Cannes, due to being under house arrest since 2010.

The Netflix Battle

If there’s one topic surrounding Cannes 2018 that people are talking about the most, it’s probably the standoff between the festival and film streaming giant Netflix. Although festival director Thierry Frémaux claims they’re more than welcome in Cannes, Netflix didn’t appreciate the ruling that only films receiving a theatrical release are eligible to compete for prizes. In response to the Cannes ruling, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos made the decision to exclude all their films from screening at Cannes.

Netflix also removed The Other Side of the Wind, an unfinished film by industry legend Orson Welles, from the Out of Competition section of Cannes — despite being eligible to screen with the new rule.

Other films that Cannes goers will miss out on due to the theatrical release rule include Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark, Paul Greengrass’ Norway, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, and a documentary by Morgan Neville called They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.

What are you most looking forward to in Cannes 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

Movies to be Excited About Premiering at Cannes Film Festival 2017

It’s that time of year again! On Wednesday, May 17th in the seaside town of Cannes, France, the renowned international film festival will kick off. The festival was created in 1939 by the French Minister of National Education and Fine Arts, Jean Zay, along with other political figures. The only international film festival at the time was the Venice Mostra; however, the 1938 competition was said to have been influenced by Adolf Hitler, who put pressure on the judges to name a Nazi propaganda film as the winner. The point of the new festival by Zay was to introduce a “film festival for Europe in which art would no longer be influenced by political maneuvering.” Unfortunately, the first festival was put on hold and eventually cancelled upon news that Hitler had invaded Poland.

Despite its rocky beginnings, the Festival de Cannes (officially titled in 2002) continues to be one of the most celebrated and impressive international film festivals in the world. While the festival takes place in Europe and features many European films, many American actors and directors have been a part of it. Some include Natalie Portman (“A Tale of Love and Darkness”), Jeff Nichols (“Loving”), Tommy Lee Jones (“The Homesman”), Julianne Moore (“Maps to the Stars”), and Joel and Ethan Cohen (“Inside Llewyn Davis”).

This year’s festival promises an impressive crew of directors and actors, and they are all anxious to go home with the Palme d’Or (the Cannes’ highest award). The films are provocative and entertaining; however, it is apparent that a political message has made its way into this year’s lineup. Every year in May, the film industry suddenly zooms in on a small resort town in France: Cannes, home of what is arguably the world’s most famous film festival. This year, the celebrations will be especially extravagant as the Cannes Film Festival celebrates turning 70. Here are a few movies that will certainly make a splash this year.

 

“The Beguiled”

Sofia Coppola puts a feminist twist on the 1971 Clint Eastwood film about an injured soldier trapped in a girls’ boarding school, focusing on the bonds between women at the school instead of the male narrative. The soldier, played by Colin Farrell, becomes entwined in the affections of several women (played by Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Claire Danes). It’ll be interesting to see how Coppola frames the movie around women’s friendship as opposed to the previous male viewpoint. As Coppola told Entertainment Weekly, “The main crux of the story is about the dynamics between a group of women all stuck together, and then also the power shifts between men and women.”

While not a politically-charged film, Sophia Coppola’s newest film is generating a lot of buzz at the Cannes this year. The film boasts a full cast, including Nicole Kidman (“Australia”), Colin Farrell (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Kirsten Dunst (“Marie Antoinette”), and Elle Fanning (“Maleficent”). A remake of the 1971 classic starring Clint Eastwood, this creepy thriller is sure to send some chills down the spines of the Cannes’ audience.

 

“Twin Peaks”

After David Lynch’s disastrous 1992 Cannes debut of “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” the director chose to stay silent on his classic series for two decades. Now he’s premiering two new episodes of the show at the festival. Cannes has traditionally ignored television, but now it’s reluctantly embracing not only TV shows but virtual reality showcases and even series from Netflix. “Twin Peaks” isn’t the only TV show to premiere at Cannes; Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” will screen a few episodes as well. It’s a paradigm shift for the intensely traditional film festival that has long favored artistic and indie productions.

“Sea Sorrow”

Directed by Vanessa Redgrave, this documentary also deals with the European refugee crisis. The 80-year-old Oscar-winning actress was shocked by the death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed upon the shore became one of the most iconic photographs of the decade. Redgrave drew parallels between the refugee crisis and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” The title of the film derives from “The Tempest” as well: “Our sea sorrow,” recites main character Prospero to his daughter Miranda, telling her of the dramatic escape they made from Milan when Miranda was only three.

Set to show during the Special Screening section, this documentary stars Ralph Fiennes (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Emma Thompson (“Sense and Sensibility”), and depicts the current refugee crisis in the Middle East. It is the directorial debut for actress Vanessa Redgrave (“Mrs. Dalloway” and “Letters to Juliet”). The documentary highlights the importance of filmmakers finding a story they believe in.

 

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman pair up again for this artistic thriller-horror film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster”). Farrell plays a brilliant surgeon who becomes drawn into the life of a dysfunctional teenage boy; Kidman, who stars in an incredible four Cannes-selected films, plays his wife. It’ll be fascinating to see how the dynamic between Farrell and Kidman shifts in this narrative, as they also play love interests in “The Beguiled.”

 

“Okja”

Netflix quickly made itself known in the world of film, winning the Academy Award for best documentary for “The White Helmets.” Now Netflix is taking on the Cannes Festival with their newest film “Okja.” From the mind of South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (“Snowpiercer”) and starring Tilda Swinton (“Doctor Strange”), the film depicts a young girl who will risk everything to save her animal friend from a multi-billion-dollar corporation. The film discusses animal cruelty and the things that separate – and don’t separate – man from animal. It also stirred some controversy when Cannes insisted the film premiere at the festival, while Netflix wanted to stream the film to their online customers. The short feud highlights the question of where film festivals fit in the digital age of film.

“Happy End”

Also in competition this year is the newest film by director Michael Haneke. Haneke made film industry buzz after his film “Amour” won the Palme d’Or in 2012 and the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2013. Set in Calais, France, the film follows a family’s drama during the European refugee crisis. This film is set in Cannes itself and tells the timely tale of a middle-class family’s method of dealing with the refugee crisis in Europe. It’s directed by Michael Haneke, who previously won the prestigious Palme D’Or (the festival’s highest prize) for both “Amour” and “White Ribbon.” Film critics are interested to see if Haneke will win the prize again, which would make him the only director to win it three times. Despite the title, rumor has it this film does not have a happy ending.

 

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”

With the Paris Agreement and the mainstreaming of alternative energies, it seemed like the world agreed on climate change – and was on the way to fixing it. However recent statements by President Trump have made the world concerned about the United States’ role in the fight to stop global warming. Many attribute the current focus on climate change to Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Now, over 10 years later, and with the fate of the planet hanging in the air, Gore releases his sequel to bolster support for the end of greenhouse gas emissions. The film is set to show during the Special Screening section, but we are sure it will ruffle some feathers this year.

“120 Battements par Minute”

Set in Paris in the 1990s, this French film by director Robin Campillo (“Eastern Boys”) follows the efforts of the Parisian group Speak Out. The organization started in 1989 and works to dispel the stigma and apathy surrounding the AIDS crisis. Campillo’s film depicts the organization in a drama starring Adèle Haenel (“The Unknown Girl”) and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (“All Yours”). While the story is fiction, former president of Speak Up, Philippe Mangeot, was a consultant for the script.

Do you picture yourself at the Cannes festival one day? Check out this interview with NYFA alumni and Cannes winner, Maul Gohel. The Cannes Film Festival will take place May 17th – 28th in Cannes, France.

What are you most excited about in this year’s Cannes? Let us know in the comments below, and learn filmmaking at New York Film Academy!

4 Cannes 2016 Performances that Lived Up to the Hype

As NYFA looks forward to our participation at the Venice International Film Festival, it’s always fun to check in and remember more of the years’ stand-out film performances. It’s not too early to start your Oscar predictions — and before we lose our hearts at the star-studded festivals in Venice and Toronto, let’s take stock of some of the Cannes performances that won us over. This is a handy roundup of Cannes 2016 performances that lived up to the hype — and then some. 

1. Dave Johns and Hayley Squires in “I, Daniel Blake”

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What better way to start than with the British film that took home the coveted Palme d’Or this year. Director Ken Loach delivers a captivating story where we see a realistic scenario of regular people getting cheated by the system. Those of you familiar with Loach’s past works know that he often works with bureaucratic injustice as his central theme.

“I, Daniel Blake” tells the tale of widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) and his battle to receive benefits after suffering a heart attack. Denied for no apparent reason, he finds himself in a welfare office where he meets Katie (Hayley Squires), a single mother with two kids who is also struggling to make ends meet.

Together, Johns and Squires do a fantastic job of portraying this desperate, unlikely pair as they see navigate a cruel system. Johns’s performance is both powerful and believable, allowing the audience to see Daniel as a decent but devastated man. Squires also delivers, imbuing her character with complex and subtle layers.

2. Jaclyn Jose in “Ma’ Rosa”

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“Ma’ Rosa” is Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s latest film, and a return to the same style that made his 2009 film “Kinatay” an international hit. While Mendoza didn’t win another Best Director Award this year, lead actress Jaclyn Jose proudly won Best Actress.

In “Ma’ Rosa”, a woman named Rosa (Jose) owns a small convenience store with her husband in Manila. But with four children to feed, the couple is forced to sell illegal drugs from the store to make ends meet. After they is caught and arrested, their children must do what they can to save up enough money to free their parents.

Jose’s performance of a graceful yet resilient mother left an impression on the audience and jury members alike. It was a huge departure from her previous roles, which were often more bombastic and active. Jose’s historic win marks the first time a Filipino has ever won an acting award at the Cannes Film Festival.

3. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in “Loving”

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Both Negga and Edgerton gave viewers a memorable performance in this film about a mixed-race couple fighting for justice and equality during the late ’50s. Jeff Nichols’ historical drama has received widespread acclaim and was even given a standing ovation upon its first showing at Cannes 2016.

“Loving” weaves a charming tale of a Virginian couple who tied the knot — despite the fact that mixed-race marriage was illegal at the time. Their decision sparked enough controversy and outrage that the Supreme Court passed laws declaring their marriage unconstitutional.

Although the film went home with no prizes, Edgerton and Negga’s touching performances were considered among the best in the festival. The fact that “Loving” focuses less on the civil rights movement and more on the couple’s relationship allowed the talented actor and actress to deliver an intimate, heartwarming story.

4. Shahab Hosseini in “The Salesman”

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In 2011, Asghar Farhadi saw his hard work pay off with “A Separation.” The Iranian drama film won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. With “The Salesman,” Farhadi has crafted yet another thrilling film that’s sure to be a contender at the next Oscars.

Along with Best Screenplay, “The Salesman” snagged the Best Actor award for Shahab Hosseini’s performance. The film combines elements of murder mystery and drama, creating a revenge thriller that left Cannes viewers with eyes glued to the screen.

The film tells the story of Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young married couple involved in a small theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” While living in a shoddy apartment previously inhabited by a prostitute, Rana is beaten and possibly raped by a man who was looking for said prostitute. Hosseini delivers a convincing performances as an angry husband tracking down the unknown man.

With Cannes 2016 behind us, we still have much to look forward to — whether catching up on these incredible performances, enjoying new festival surprises, or placing our bets in the inevitable Oscars race ahead.

What are you favorite film festival performances of 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

Dog Eat Dog: The Sleeper Hit of Cannes 2016?

While there’s always something to get excited about when it comes to Cannes, 2016 in particular feels like a bumper year.

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The promise of further Studio Ghibli collaborations are heralded by The Red Turtle. Director Andrea Arnold, one of Britain’s finest exports of late, looks set to break the US market with American Honey. Even the staunchest of cynics have been won over by the latest trailers of a Spielberg-helmed, live action adaptation of The BGF.

And amongst surefire smashes like Money Monster and Nice Guys premiering at Cannes 2016, there are more than a few potential sleeper hits that have piqued our interest, too.

One such low-key title that isn’t garnering quite as much press as Clooney or Gosling’s respective outings – but is no less full of promise – is the novel adaptation of Dog Eat Dog

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… and here’s why it might be the biggest success story of Cannes 2016, as well as the flick that potentially restores two careers to their former glory.

Schrader Meets Cage: A Collaboration Made in Heaven?

As the closing film for the Director’s Fortnight section of the festival, Dog Eat Dog is a tale of a crime going horrifically wrong as a baby kidnapping scheme by two crooks slowly falls apart.

Naturally we won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say that if it’s anything close to the Edward Bunker novel of the same name, it’ll be a hugely engaging emotional rollercoaster.

But more interesting still is that it might serve as a turn of good fortune for two of the people involved.

Paul Schrader (who directed, co-wrote the screenplay and stars in the movie) has long been an industry favorite. Precisely forty years ago at the Cannes festival, his breakout script for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver won the Palme d’Or and a string of similar hits followed over the decades.

Unfortunately however, Schrader’s winning streak became derailed after spending the ten years struggling to finance feature films. He finally overcame this by embracing crowdfunding for 2013’s The Canyons, but production became a nightmare; as lead star Lindsay Lohan underwent a highly publicized struggle with addiction, filming became fraught with problems and Schrader himself claimed Lohan did little to support the movie.

Ultimately, along with intense arguments about how the film should be cut, it ended up as a flop.

It goes without saying that this is a huge shame given Schrader’s pedigree, but if Dog Eat Dog proves to be as good as it looks, it should hopefully put Paul Schrader back on top. Where he belongs.

But given that this is a crucial movie for the director, it’s perhaps odd that he should choose to put Nicholas Cage in a leading role. It is not the first time the two have worked together, and it didn’t go well the first time around (though through no fault of Cage’s):

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And it’s not that Cage isn’t a highly engaging actor and one that can effortlessly steal scenes (not always for reasons he might intend), but his name alone has become exceptionally volatile at the box office. While capable of soaring to great heights, his filmography of late has become increasingly stranger and the misses seem more common than the hits.

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As such, it’s heartening to see Cage playing what looks like a ‘straighter’ role in a more conventional thriller. With a bit of luck it’ll also signal a return to form for him, and there’s every chance that it will given Cage can be a phenomenal actor when there’s a skillful director channeling his manic energy. Paul Schrader could well be that director.

So, could this be the big sleeper hit of Cannes 2016? The first signs look good…

Dog Eat Dog: The Early Reviews

At the time of writing, we’re within an hour of the film’s premiere credits rolling and already journalists at Cannes are beginning to post their reviews.

On the whole, it’s being hailed as a fresh twist on the classic crime story, and stylistically on-point. Both Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe are starting to get great write-ups of their respective performances, and the only common criticism is that Schrader himself slightly slacks in the acting department (at least in comparison to the two leads.)

It remains to be seen whether or not this momentum snowballs and becomes a critical moment in the careers of both Cage and Schrader, but this is definitely one to watch in amongst the post-Cannes hubbub to follow this coming week.

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In the mean time, we welcome your thoughts – could this be a make-or-break movie for the parties involved? Are you planning on seeing it the second it gets a release date, or will you wait for the DVD?

See you down in the comments below!