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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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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Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to compete at Cannes Film Festival

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will premiere as part of the official competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Industry insiders had been expecting the Pulp Fiction filmmaker’s latest movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad P…

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will premiere as part of the official competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Industry insiders had been expecting the Pulp Fiction filmmaker’s latest movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, to be included in the official competition when it was unveiled on 18 April (19), and festival boss Thierry Fremaux subsequently explained to reporters that the film was not finished but he was hoping it would be a last-minute addition to the line-up.

On Thursday (02May19), Fremaux confirmed that the movie had been completed in time and would have its world premiere at the annual French film festival and compete against the likes of Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, and Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life for the coveted Palme d’Or.

“We were afraid the film would not be ready, as it wouldn’t be released until late July, but Quentin Tarantino, who has not left the editing room in four months, is a real, loyal and punctual child of Cannes,” Fremaux said, according to Deadline. “Like for Inglourious Basterds, he’ll definitely be there – 25 years after the Palme d’or for Pulp Fiction – with a finished film screened in 35mm and his cast in tow.

“His film is a love letter to the Hollywood of his childhood, a rock music tour of 1969, and an ode to cinema as a whole. In addition to thanking Quentin and his crew for spending days and nights in the editing room, the Festival wants to give special thanks to the teams at Sony Pictures, who made all of this possible.”

He also announced that Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo, the latest film by Abdellatif Kechiche, the Palme d’Or-winning director of Blue Is the Warmest Colour, was another last-minute addition to the competition slate.

The 2019 Cannes Film Festival runs from 14 to 25 May.

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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu named president of Cannes Film Festival jury

Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has been appointed the jury president of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The Birdman filmmaker, the first Mexican to be given the prestigious position, will head up the jury, to be comprised of members…

Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has been appointed the jury president of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

The Birdman filmmaker, the first Mexican to be given the prestigious position, will head up the jury, to be comprised of members of the movie industry, and help decide what film competing in the official selection should win the coveted Palme d’Or.

“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career,” Inarritu said in a statement. “I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honour of presiding over the Jury. Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility, that we will assume with passion and devotion.”

Pierre Lescure, festival president, and Thierry Fremaux, artistic director, said they are “delighted” that Inarritu, who won back-to-back Best Director Oscars for 2015’s Birdman and 2016’s The Revenant, had accepted their invitation.

“Not only is he a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises, Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time,” they said in a joint statement.

The 55-year-old’s relationship with Cannes dates back to 2000, when his debut feature Amores Perros premiered there, and he most recently went back in 2017 as his virtual reality experience Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand) was selected for the competition.

Inarritu follows in the footsteps of his Babel star Cate Blanchett, who served as president in 2018 and awarded the Palme d’Or to Shoplifters with the help of jury members including Ava DuVernay and Kristen Stewart.

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival runs between 14 and 25 May (19).

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Cannes to mark movie industry changes with ‘100 women’ moment

One hundred women will grace the Cannes Film Festival red carpet on Saturday as a symbolic show of strength.A-listers, filmmakers and festival representatives will take to the famous Cannes red carpet at weekend for as part of a symbolic gesture to “af…

One hundred women will grace the Cannes Film Festival red carpet on Saturday as a symbolic show of strength.

A-listers, filmmakers and festival representatives will take to the famous Cannes red carpet at weekend for as part of a symbolic gesture to “affirm their presence”, according to event boss Thierry Fremaux, who announced the big news at a press conference on Monday (07May18).

He and other executives behind the annual movie gathering, held on the French Riviera, are planning to make this year’s event a female-friendly one, setting up a telephone hotline for victims of sexual harassment and abuse to report their experiences – and on Monday (07May18), Fremaux and his team instituted even more sweeping changes in a bid to help support gender equality.

“We want to keep pace with a world that’s changing,” Fremaux explained during the impromptu press conference. “It isn’t just the Cannes Film Festival that’s going to change. The whole world has changed.”

Thierry’s efforts to make the film festival more gender inclusive include improving the male-to-female ratios on selection committees, installing more women into the role of jury president, and selecting more films directed by women for competition.

His scheme is off to a great start in the festival’s 71st year, with actress Cate Blanchett serving as jury president at this month’s event, but only three of the 21 films in competition for the coveted Palme d’Or prize have been directed by females – and only one woman, Jane Campion, has ever earned the Palme d’Or trophy.

“The cinema has always been in the hands of men,” Fremaux continued. “There will be more and more (female filmmakers) in the future.”

The 2018 Cannes Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday (08May18).

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Lars von Trier returning to Cannes after seven-year exile

Lars von Trier is returning to exhibit a movie at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, bringing to an end his seven-year exile. The controversial Danish director was banned from the star-studded French event in 2011 after saying he sympathised with Hitle…

Lars von Trier is returning to exhibit a movie at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, bringing to an end his seven-year exile.

The controversial Danish director was banned from the star-studded French event in 2011 after saying he sympathised with Hitler and was a Nazi during a press conference promoting his film Melancholia.

The 61-year-old director, whose Jewish mother revealed on her deathbed that his real father was in fact a German engineer, swiftly apologised, but was declared persona non grata by festival chiefs.

However, on Thursday (19Apr18), they announced that the filmmaker’s new movie The House That Jack Built would screen out of competition in Cannes next month (May18).

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux hinted at von Trier’s return in an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio on Tuesday, saying he was “thinking that it’s perhaps time to make a place for him as a filmmaker again”.

The Nymphomaniac director was also hit by controversy last year when the singer Bjork, who starred his 2000 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dancer in the Dark, accused him of sexual harassment. He denies the allegations.

Festival bosses have also revealed a number of other films that will feature at the event, including Kevin Macdonald’s documentary about the life of Whitney Houston, and Fahrenheit 451, an adaptation of the acclaimed science-fiction novel starring Sofia Boutella, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon.

Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited epic, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which has been in production hell for more than 20 years, will close the event. Gilliam’s passion project has been so notoriously plagued by problems that an early attempt to make the film with Johnny Depp, which was derailed by floods and cast injuries, has been immortalised in a documentary, Lost in La Mancha.

The festival runs from 8 to 19 May.

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Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield movies to compete at Cannes Film Festival

Movies starring Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield will compete for the coveted Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The selection of films for the 2018 festival was unveiled in Paris on Thursday morning (12Apr18), with highlights including Adam …

Movies starring Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield will compete for the coveted Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

The selection of films for the 2018 festival was unveiled in Paris on Thursday morning (12Apr18), with highlights including Adam Driver’s latest role in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, a crime drama about an African-American detective who infiltrates a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, David Robert Mitchell’s comedy-drama Under the Silver Lake, which stars Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough, and Godard’s Le Livre d’Image (The Image Book).

Other competition titles include Three Faces by Jafar Panahi, Cold War by Pawel Pawlikowski, Eva Husson’s war epic Girls of the Sun, which stars Julie Delpy, Lazzaro Felice by Alice Rohrwacher, Sorry Angel by Christophe Honore, and Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, which stars The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun, among others.

Everybody Knows, a psychological thriller starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, opens the festival on 8 May (18) and will play out of competition, alongside the likes of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

There are no Netflix titles at the festival this year, following controversy about their appearance in competition with Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories in 2017. The streaming service’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has decided to pull out of Cannes altogether after director Thierry Fremaux introduced a new rule in March (18) which bans any films without a theatrical distribution in France from competing for the Palme d’Or.

“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” Sarandos told Variety. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.

“I don’t think there would be any reason to go out of competition. The rule was implicitly about Netflix, and Thierry made it explicitly about Netflix when he announced the rule.”

Sarandos confirmed that he would not personally be attending the French film extravaganza this year, but some Netflix executives would be there to try and acquire some films which are currently without distribution.

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Cannes bans Netflix movies from Palme d’Or competition

Netflix films have been banned from competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival.Cannes director Thierry Fremaux recently announced new guidelines for the annual film extravaganza, which include no selfies on the red carpe…

Netflix films have been banned from competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux recently announced new guidelines for the annual film extravaganza, which include no selfies on the red carpet and eliminating morning press screenings of films before their evening premieres.

He also outlined plans to ban Netflix movies from competing for the Palme d’Or, after two films made by the streaming service, Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories, were nominated last year (17), sparking a backlash from filmmakers and union members.

“Last year, when we selected these two films, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas. I was presumptuous, they refused,” Fremaux admitted to Le Film Francais.

He added that he was willing to take the risk in 2017 in a bid to stop the festival from becoming stagnant. However, the rules now state films in the running for the Palme d’Or need a theatrical release in France.

“The Netflix people loved the red carpet and would like to be present with other films. But they understand that the intransigence of their own model is now the opposite of ours,” he said.

He also shared that while the famous film festival has to take into account the existence of these “powerful new players: Amazon, Netflix and maybe soon Apple,” which enable directors to make big budget films, the results are hybrid features that aren’t TV and aren’t quite film.

“Cinema (still) triumphs everywhere even in this golden age of series,” Fremaux stated. “The history of cinema and the history of the internet are two different things.”

Fremaux’s comments echo Steven Spielberg’s sentiments when it comes to movies made by streaming services.

While talking to ITV news recently, the celebrated director shared his opinion that films made by companies like Netflix should be banned from winning Oscars.

“I don’t believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theatres for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations,” the three-time Oscar winner said. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show, you deserve an Emmy. But not an Oscar.”

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