Wes Anderson and Viggo Mortensen’s movies chosen for Cannes Film Festival Official Selection

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut have made the 2020 Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection. The annual French film event, which usually takes place in May, was cancelled in its physical form this year due t…

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut have made the 2020 Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection.

The annual French film event, which usually takes place in May, was cancelled in its physical form this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers wanted to support the movies submitted to premiere there by releasing its Official Selection line-up.

The shortlist of 56 titles were unveiled in Paris on Wednesday evening and the presentation confirmed that Anderson’s latest, starring Timothee Chalamet, Frances McDormand, and Tilda Swinton, was set for a Cannes debut, as well as Mortenson’s Falling, which he wrote, directed and stars in, and Francis Lee’s Ammonite, a romance drama starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

“In such upsetting times, a little personal joy. I am utterly thrilled Ammonite has been selected for Cannes 2020. To be amongst the other filmmakers is a complete honour. I can’t wait for you all to see it soon. Thank you @Festival_Cannes,” Lee tweeted.

Other notable entries in the Official Selection include Pixar’s upcoming animation Soul, featuring the voice of Jamie Foxx, Summer 85 by Francois Ozon, and Steve McQueen’s films Mangrove and Lovers Rock, which form part of his Small Axe anthology of five feature-length stories.

On Wednesday evening, the 12 Years a Slave filmmaker announced he was dedicating the films to African-American man George Floyd, following his death at the hands of white police officers on 25 May, and “all the other black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen, because of who they are, in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere”.

Other titles include Asa Ga Kuru (True Mothers) by Naomi Kawase, Druk (Another Round) by Thomas Vinterberg, and Peninsula, Yeon Sang-Ho’s sequel to his 2016 zombie horror movie Train to Busan.

Movies in the Official Selection will not compete for the Palme d’Or this year. However, they will each receive a “Cannes 2020” label and be able to premiere at another festival instead. They can even compete at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival in September.

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Cannes’ Official Selection able to compete at San Sebastian Film Festival

Movies in the 2020 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection will be eligible to compete at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival for the first time. The annual French film event, which usually takes place in May, was cancelled in its physical form this y…

Movies in the 2020 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection will be eligible to compete at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival for the first time.

The annual French film event, which usually takes place in May, was cancelled in its physical form this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Accordingly, Cannes bosses made the decision to revise their Official Selection of movies, which will be unveiled on Wednesday evening, and present the titles across other film festivals, with each project receiving a “Cannes 2020” label for their alternative festival and/or theatrical releases.

The transcript of the speech Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux will give at the Official Selection unveiling in Paris was released on Tuesday, revealing that, in an unprecedented move, films that were set to compete at Cannes will be able to compete at San Sebastian, which is set to be staged in September.

“Many other festivals around the world have expressed the desire to welcome the Cannes 2020 selection films,” he said, reeling off film festivals in Toronto, New York, and Telluride, among others. “They will do it again this year with the active support of Cannes and its teams.

“Lili Hinstin, the Locarno Festival’s director wanted to be the first to welcome Cannes films (before she too was unfortunately forced to give up), and we also spoke with Jose-Luis Rebordinos, the director of the San Sebastian festival, who decided that the films included in the Cannes 2020 Official Selection could also compete in San Sebastian. He changed the rules, just for us. Exceptional circumstances, exceptional measures.”

Fremaux had previously spoken about a potential collaboration with organisers of the Venice Film Festival, which is set to kick off in September, but did not mention the event in his speech.

This year’s Official Selection will be compromised of 56 films. It features a record 15 first films and an increase in female directors and will be presented in one single list, rather than the traditional strands.

Fremaux noted that some projects expected to appear on the list may be absent as the filmmakers have decided to postpone release dates.

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Spike Lee: ‘I’m not going to a movie theatre until there’s a vaccine’

Spike Lee won’t go to a cinema until a vaccine has been found for the coronavirus. In April, the BlackKklansman director spoke out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia while the pandemic is still ongoing, and in a new interview with Vanit…

Spike Lee won’t go to a cinema until a vaccine has been found for the coronavirus.

In April, the BlackKklansman director spoke out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia while the pandemic is still ongoing, and in a new interview with Vanity Fair, he insisted he won’t be going to any venue in which large groups of people gather until there’s a vaccination against the Covid-19 virus.

“I know I’m not going to a movie theatre,” he stated. “I know I’m not going to a Broadway show. I know I’m not going to Yankee Stadium. Corona is a b**ch. Corona is not playing. You f**k around you’re going to get killed, you’re going to die. I’m not ready to go.”

Lee is releasing his new Vietnam War drama, Da 5 Bloods, on Netflix this month, and is scheduled to follow that up with an adaptation of the Prince of Cats graphic novel.

Production was due to kick off in Brooklyn in summer but he doesn’t see filming happening any time soon as there is not yet “a feasible solution” to make sets safe enough for the cast and crew.

“How are you going to do a love scene anymore, or an intimate scene? I mean, are you going to do a movie by remote, like Saturday Night Live? I don’t know how you do that. So, we’re on pause now,” the 63-year-old explained.

Lee was set to serve as the jury president at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival before the edition was cancelled. Cannes organisers hope he will take on the role for the 2021 festival, but this is yet to be confirmed.

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Venice Film Festival still set to go ahead

The 2020 edition of the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned in September, the region’s governor has insisted. Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, confirmed on Sunday that the world’s longest-running festival, which is scheduled to run between 2-1…

The 2020 edition of the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned in September, the region’s governor has insisted.

Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, confirmed on Sunday that the world’s longest-running festival, which is scheduled to run between 2-12 September, will proceed, according to Variety.

Zaia’s confirmation comes days after Venice Biennale officials, which oversee the film festival as well as other events, pushed back its Biennale of Architecture to 2021, but kept the film festival’s dates, despite the two usually overlapping.

The governor explained on Sunday that the Biennale of Architecture was postponed due to problems with constructing the necessary pavilions and went on to insist that the film festival is happening, although there will likely be fewer movies showcased this year.

Earlier this month, a letter signed by Venice’s artistic director Alberto Barbera was sent to a wide range of film industry personnel to find out their concerns and suggestions for the 2020 edition and whether they’d be willing to attend the event.

“We know that it would be simply impossible to plan a festival without knowing if you all are willing to use the Festival to give a new start and a strong sign for keeping cinema alive, even in these difficult times,” wrote Barbera, editors at Variety reported.

The full line-up of films showing at the festival is typically unveiled in July. In January, Cate Blanchett was named the jury president, but it is unclear if this will remain the case.

The Cannes Film Festival, which would have had its closing night over the weekend, was cancelled this year and officials revealed they hoped to screen some of their planned premieres at Venice and other festivals.

Italy, which was one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis, has been slowly coming out of lockdown in recent weeks and is currently set to reopen its borders for European Union (EU) tourists on 3 June.

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Steven Soderbergh has written Sex, Lies, and Videotape sequel in lockdown

Steven Soderbergh has written a sequel to his breakout movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape during the coronavirus lockdown. The Ocean’s Eleven filmmaker rose to prominence with his directorial debut, which went on to win the coveted Palme d’Or at the 1989 …

Steven Soderbergh has written a sequel to his breakout movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Ocean’s Eleven filmmaker rose to prominence with his directorial debut, which went on to win the coveted Palme d’Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and earned him a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination.

During an appearance on Flaviar’s NightCap Live on Tuesday, the director revealed he has been keeping busy during lockdown by writing scripts, including a sequel to the 1989 movie, which he hopes to make.

“During the lockdown, I’ve done more sustained writing than I’ve done since the summer of 1985,” he said, according to Collider. “When the lockdown happened here in New York, in order to stay organised and sane, I decided I’m gonna write. I’ve gotta go back to writing. So, within the first six or seven weeks of the lockdown, I finished three screenplays. One of them was a rewrite, one of them was an original, and one was an adaptation of a novel that I’ve been wanting to do. The original was a sequel to Sex, Lies, and Videotape. It was an idea that had been circling for a while, and I felt like I came up with the way to get back in, and so I wrote it, and I wanna make it.”

Soderbergh, who has since directed the likes of Erin Brockovich, Contagion, and Magic Mike, didn’t elaborate on plot details.

The original movie starred James Spader as a young man who videotapes women talking about their lives and sexuality as well as his impact on the relationships of a troubled married couple, played by Peter Gallagher and Andie MacDowell, and the wife’s younger sister, portrayed by Laura San Giacomo.

Soderbergh’s 2002 film Full Frontal is considered a spiritual sequel to Sex, Lies, and Videotape, even though it didn’t feature any of the original cast or characters.

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Cannes Film Festival bosses rule out physical 2020 edition

Cannes Film Festival officials have decided against staging a physical edition of the 2020 event. The 2020 edition of the prestigious French festival was scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic back in Ma…

Cannes Film Festival officials have decided against staging a physical edition of the 2020 event.

The 2020 edition of the prestigious French festival was scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic back in March. Organisers originally hoped to stage it in late June or early July, but they have now decided a physical edition will not take place this year.

“As of today, a physical edition seems complicated to organise, so we are going forward with an announcement of films from the (initial Official) Selection at the beginning of June,” a festival spokesperson confirmed to Variety.

Cannes organisers are set to announce a revised Official Selection of movies in June and plan to present these titles at other film festivals, such as the Venice International Film Festival, which takes place in September, and across cinemas.

In an interview with Screen Daily, Cannes director Thierry Fremaux explained that the films in the Official Selection will be those scheduled for theatrical release between now and spring 2021 and will receive a “Cannes 2020” label for their alternative festival and/or theatrical releases.

“The selection probably won’t be under the usual structured format that we all know with the Competition, Un Certain Regard, and Out of Competition sections,” Fremaux said. “It would have been ridiculous to behave as if nothing had happened. But in our heart of hearts what we want to do is promote the films that we saw and loved. We received films from around the world, magnificent works, and it’s our duty to help them find their audience.”

The director revealed that some filmmakers have opted for their films to be reconsidered for the 2021 edition instead. There will be no jury or awards this year, so Fremaux is welcoming Spike Lee, who was set to be 2020 jury president, back for next year’s event.

Lee’s upcoming movie Da 5 Bloods was set to debut at the festival ahead of its release on Netflix on 12 June. He added that Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch would have premiered at Cannes too, but will no longer be part of the Official Selection.

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Venice Film Festival going forward as planned

Organisers of the Venice Film Festival are determined to proceed with the 2020 edition in September, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.Major film, music, television, and sports events have all been either cancelled or postponed this year to help…

Organisers of the Venice Film Festival are determined to proceed with the 2020 edition in September, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.

Major film, music, television, and sports events have all been either cancelled or postponed this year to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, with the Cannes Film Festival, which usually takes place in May, now postponed until an unspecified date.

But despite Italy being one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic, Roberto Cicutto, president of the festival’s parent group, the Venice Biennale, told Italian news agency ANSA on Monday that the 77th edition of the Venetian festival would not be postponed or cancelled.

Cicutto also insisted that there were no plans to team up with the Cannes Film Festival on a joint event, after Cannes director Thierry Fremaux suggested the possibility of a one-off collaboration.

“With Cannes everything is possible,” Cicutto said. “But I find it disconcerting that Thierry Fremaux keeps saying he is continuing to examine the situation and does not say what he wants to do. We are going forward with our programme… there is no dialogue.”

The Venice chief said he believed Italian government officials would permit them to open “six or seven circumscribed movie theatres” for screenings during the festival, and acknowledged that international attendance at the event would be less than previous years. He added that the festival was “fine-tuning” its digital technology to help journalists who are unable to make the trip.

Italy has been in lockdown since early March, with all cinemas and non-essential businesses closed to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has infected more than 181,000 in the country, resulting in an estimated 24,000 deaths.

The crisis has already led to the postponement of Venice’s theatre and dance festivals.

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Cannes Film Festival unlikely to go ahead ‘in its original form’

Cannes Film Festival bosses have acknowledged that the 2020 edition of the annual event is unlikely to take place “in its original form” this year.The 73rd edition of the prestigious French film festival was originally set to get underway in May, but w…

Cannes Film Festival bosses have acknowledged that the 2020 edition of the annual event is unlikely to take place “in its original form” this year.

The 73rd edition of the prestigious French film festival was originally set to get underway in May, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and organisers hoped to stage it in late June or early July.

However, following French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement on Monday that all festivals or events with large gatherings would be cancelled until at least mid-July, the organisers have accepted going forward with the traditional event “is no longer an option”.

“We acknowledged that the postponement of the 73rd International Cannes Film Festival, initially considered for the end of June to the beginning of July, is no longer an option,” they said in a statement. “It is clearly difficult to assume that the Festival de Cannes could be held this year in its original form.”

Officials went on to reveal that they were working to stage some form of the event this year.

“Nevertheless, since yesterday evening we have started many discussions with professionals, in France and abroad. They agree that the Festival de Cannes, an essential pillar for the film industry, must explore all contingencies allowing to support the year of Cinema by making Cannes 2020 real, in a way or another,” the statement continued.

“Each and everyone knows that many uncertainties are still reigning over the international health situation. We hope to be able to communicate promptly regarding the shapes that this Cannes 2020 will take.”

On Monday, Macron extended the lockdown in France to 11 May and ruled that all public gathering spaces, including cinemas, restaurants, and bars would remain closed until further notice. There are 98,700 active cases in France, with 15,700 deaths.

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Cannes Film Festival postponed as coronavirus sweeps France

The 2020 Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to the continuing spread of coronavirus across France.The prestigious event was scheduled to be held in the city on the French Riviera from 12 to 23 May, but organisers confirmed on Thursday that the…

The 2020 Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to the continuing spread of coronavirus across France.

The prestigious event was scheduled to be held in the city on the French Riviera from 12 to 23 May, but organisers confirmed on Thursday that they are now looking at holding the festival later this year after the Covid-19 pandemic has peaked.

More than 246,000 have been infected with the virus around the world since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December, and over 10,000 people have died.

In France alone, there are almost 11,000 cases of Covid-19, with 372 fatalities, and on Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron ordered a 15-day lockdown across the country to try and contain the outbreak.

“At this time of global health crisis, our thoughts go to the victims of the Covid-19 and we express our solidarity with all of those who are fighting the disease,” festival executives said in a statement, noting that their decision was made in light of the strict lockdown.

They are reportedly considering several options, according to editors at Variety, including holding the festival at the end of June.

However, organisers insisted they will be regularly assessing the “French and international health situation” in the coming weeks and will make a further announcement about the future of this year’s festival in due course.

“In the meantime, the Festival de Cannes lends its vocal support to all of those who firmly call on everyone to respect the general lockdown, and ask to show solidarity in these difficult times for the entire world,” the statement concluded.

Just last week, festival president Pierre Lescure had said he was “reasonably optimistic” the 2020 event would go ahead, after suggesting the coronavirus pandemic would peak “at the end of March and that we will breathe a little better in April”.

The Cannes Film Festival press conference, which was originally scheduled for 16 April, has also been delayed.

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Cate Blanchett to head up Venice Film Festival jury

Cate Blanchett has been appointed president of the 2020 Venice International Film Festival jury.The Australian actress has signed up to preside over the jury at the prestigious Italian festival, during which she and her jurors will watch the movies in …

Cate Blanchett has been appointed president of the 2020 Venice International Film Festival jury.

The Australian actress has signed up to preside over the jury at the prestigious Italian festival, during which she and her jurors will watch the movies in competition and decide which should win the coveted Golden Lion.

“Every year I look expectantly to the selection at Venice and every year it is surprising and distinct. Venice is one of the most atmospheric film festivals in the world – a celebration of the provocative and inspirational medium that is cinema in all its forms. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be this year’s jury president,” Blanchett said in a statement.

Her appointment comes two years after she served as jury president at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

“Cate Blanchett is not just an icon of contemporary cinema, courted by the greatest directors of the past 20 years and adored by moviegoers of every kind,” Venice boss Alberto Barbera added. “Her commitment in the artistic and humanitarian fields and to the protection of the environment, as well as her defence of the emancipation of women in a film industry still coming to terms with male prejudice, have made her an inspiration for society as a whole.

“Her immense talent as an actress, combined with her unique intelligence and sincere passion for cinema, are the ideal qualities for a Jury President.”

Blanchett’s film Elizabeth premiered at the festival in 1998 and she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her performance in I’m Not There in 2007.

The 77th Venice International Film Festival runs from 2 to 12 September.

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