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!

Cannes 2017: Best Celebrity Sightings at Cannes

Each May, the entertainment industry turns its eyes to the beautiful resort town of Cannes, France, not only eager to see the film festival’s media offerings, but to see the stars. One of the top film festivals in the world, Cannes attracts celebrities from actors to directors, from singers to producers. To help you prepare for this year’s celebrity spotting at Cannes, we’ve listed here some of the A-listers whose presence is hotly anticipated at this year’s festival:

Nicole Kidman

Kidman is involved in four official selection titles at this year’s Cannes, which will likely make her this year’s star. She is starring in two films that are in competition (“The Beguiled” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”) and two films out of competition (“How to Talk to Girls at Parties” and “Top of the Lake: China Girl”). Though they are not related to Cannes, Kidman is also starring in a popular HBO mini-series “Big Little Lies” and has a part in the upcoming “Aquaman” film. It looks like 2017 is Ms. Kidman’s year!

Colin Farrell

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 2.28.43 PM

Across from Kidman is her co-star in two Cannes films, both in competition: Colin Farrell. Over the past year Farrell has upped his game, starring in a Harry-Potter-universe film (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) and a dark science-fiction comedy by director Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster”). Colin is teaming up with Lanthimos again in his newest drama, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” Farrell also plays the part of the Union soldier in Sophia Coppola’s new thriller at Cannes, “The Beguiled.”

Kristen Stewart

by celebrityabc on Flickr

by celebrityabc on Flickr

Stewart has come a long way since her days in vampire teen-flicks, starring in two films by French director Olivier Assayas (“Personal Shopper” and “Clouds of Sils Maria”). Now she is making her directorial debut at Cannes 2017 with her short film “Come Swim” (part of the 70th Anniversary Event section). Stewart’s previous beau and “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson will also be in attendance for the film “Good Time,” which is in competition for the Palme d’Or.

Alejandro González Iñárritu

As a director, producer, and screenwriter, Mexican-born Iñárritu has made his mark in the film scene. He won the Academy Award for best picture in 2015 for his film “Birdman” and directed Leonardo DiCaprio in his Oscar-winning performance in “The Revenant.” Iñárritu also won best director for both films and even won best director at Cannes for “Babel” in 2006. This year, he is screening his newest film, “Carne Y Arena,” (or “Flesh and Sand”) — which is the only film in the Virtual Reality section of the festival. Based on true accounts, this exhibit allows the viewer to experience the life of a refugee.

Tilda Swinton

by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton will also be in attendance for her starring role in “Okja.” The new sci-fi is directed by Bong Joon-ho, who previously directed another sci-fi with Swinton, “Snowpiercer” (2013). “Okja” will become the first Netflix film in a Cannes festival, and tells the story of a young girl who tries to protect an animal friend from a multi-billion-dollar corporation. The film also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, and Lily Collins.

Barkhad Abdi

The Somali-American actor and director made his debut in “Captain Phillips” (2013), playing alongside Tom Hanks. His performance as the pirate leader earned him a nomination for best supporting actor in the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and he won that category at the BAFTA Awards. Abdi stars in the newest Safdie Brothers’ film at Cannes, “Good Times.” This crime drama about a bank robber also stars Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Emma Thompson

Of all the British actors to make their way into the hearts of Americans, Emma Thompson is one of the most beloved. She has starred in multiple classics, such as “Love Actually,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Brave,” and the “Harry Potter” films, and voiced a character in the newest adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.” Her filmography goes on and on, and her newest addition to the list will be showcased at Cannes this year in competition: “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” has an all-star cast, including Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Dustin Hoffman.

Adam Sandler

by celebrityabc on Flickr

by celebrityabc on Flickr

Speaking of Adam Sandler, some of you might think that Cannes is the last place you would see this slapstick comedian. However, critics insist that Sandler isn’t playing his normal roles in “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).” The film follows an estranged family that comes together in New York City for an event with their artistic father. Sandler has delivered some endearing performances in films before, such as “Click” and “Reign Over Me.” Perhaps he will wow audiences at Cannes this year and establish himself as a serious actor.

Julianne Moore

Moore is not a stranger to the Cannes festival, having won the award for best actress in 2014 for David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars.” Her newest film at Cannes, “Wonderstruck,” is based off an illustrated young adult novel of the same name. It is a dual story that follows two deaf children, and also stars Michelle Williams. Like the other popular streaming-service, Netflix, this will be the first time Amazon has had a film in the Cannes festival.

David Lynch

The Cannes festival has long resisted the inclusion of TV shows in their lineup; however, it looks like this year will be an exception. David Lynch has been a part of the festival before, screening his prequel film to the “Twin Peaks” series, titled “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” (1992). The film did was not received warmly, but this has not deterred Lynch from coming back. The first two episodes of his “Twin Peaks” reboot will premiere at this year’s Cannes in the 70th Anniversary Events section. Will the show be met with acceptance or more criticism? Find out soon!

There will be plenty of other friendly faces at this year’s Cannes … who are you excited to see? Who do you hope will win? The Cannes Film Festival will take place May 17th – 28th in Cannes, France. Learn more about filmmaking at New York Film Academy.