This year, the 65th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival is being celebrated with a mixture of well-known international auteurs and rising star Hollywood talents. This balance between auteur films and glamour, which has become a traditional formula for the competition line-up, has been couched as "a voyage through cinematographies around the world", as festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux pointed out in his introduction to the program.
To mark this special milestone in its glorious history, the "Festival de Cannes" has devoted nearly three-quarters of its main competition program to festival loyalists: Alain Resnais, Jacques Audiard, Michael Haneke, Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Leos Carax, David Cronenberg, Matteo Garrone, Walter Salles, Thomas Vinterberg, Hong Sang-soo, Im Sang-soo, Carlos Reygadas, Ulrich Seidl, Cristian Mungiu and Sergei Loznitza, all of whom have been in competition in previous years. Among these respectable auteurs Loach, Kiarostami, Mungiu and Haneke have previously won the Golden Palm. A director not in this elite Cannes club that will have a place in the competition program for the first time is Egypt's Yousry Nasrallah with his post-Arab Spring film.
This year, a very important competition program ingredient is a strong selection of no less than five US films. Last time this happened was in 2007, with the Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Gus Van Sant, James Gray and David Fincher in the line-up. This time, these films have been made by newcomers to the competition: Wes Anderson, Andrew Dominik, John Hillcoat, Jeff Nichols and Lee Daniels. Their participation will, as expected, bring not only star wattage of Hollywood glamour to the "Palais des Festival" red carpet on the Croisette, but should also represent the new young voices of American cinema today.
Offering a certain corrective selection to the competition, the Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week sections offer work from a very fine selection of auteurs from all sides of the world. Among them are some well-knowns such as Pablo Trapero, William Vega, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos, Pablo Larrain, Lou Ye, Koji Wakamatsu, Jaochim Lafosse and Xavier Dolan, and some directors with first features such as Brandon Cronenberg, Benh Zeitlin, Ashim Ahluwalia and Adam Leon.
This year, the 65th edition of the Cannes Film Festival offers a vast selection of films which represent the global filmmaking community at large, where all cineastes, media critics, festival loyalists and members of the public can make their own selections and find rewarding choices according to their tastes. (Borislav Andjelic)
Cannes Film Festival: www.festival-cannes.com