Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cannes Festival is ready to roll

Actress, Isabelle Huppert

The 62nd Cannes Film Festival (CFF) will open this week, 13 May, and run through 24 May 2009. The films are selected as well as the juries, and the French know how to throw a party.


1. FEATURE FILM COMPETITION - French actress Isabelle Huppert, President, assisted by Asia Argento (Actress, Director, Screenwriter- Italy) Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Director, Screenwriter, Actor - Turkey) Lee Chang-Dong (Director, Writer, Screenwriter - South Korea), James Gray (Director, Screenwriter – United States), Hanif Kureishi (Writer, Screenwriter – United Kingdom), Shu Qi (Actress - Taiwan), Robin Wright Penn (Actress - United States), and Sharmila Tagore III ( Actress- India). Will be presented on stage during the closing ceremony on May 24th.

2. CAMERA d'OR - The Camera d’or, created in 1978, honors the best first film chosen in the Official Selection, the Critics’ Week or the Director’s Fortnight. This year, twenty first films will compete for this prize which will be presented on stage during the closing ceremony on May 24th.

French actor Roschdy Zem, President. Other members: Diane Baratier (cinematographer), Olivier Chiavassa (Federation of Film Technicians), Sandrine Ray (director), Charles Tesson (Critics’ Syndicate), and Edouard Waintrop (Fribourg Film Festival, Switzerland).

3. UN CERTAIN REGARD - The opening film of this prestigious Festival program is NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT THE PERSIAN CATS, Thursday, 14 May. The director is Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi.

Italian screenwriter and director Paolo Sorrentino, awarded the Jury Prize in 2008 for IL DIVO, will preside over: Julie Gayet (actress, France), Piers Handling (director of the Toronto Festival, Canada), Uma Da Cunha (journalist and festival programmer, India) and Marit Kapla (journalist, Göteborg Festival, Sweden).


1. Filmmaker Martin Scorsese is the honorary President of Cannes Classics 2009, a section established in 2004 to accompany the contemporary films of the Official Selection with a program of restored and rediscovered films, to be released theatrically or on DVD.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's masterpiece, THE RED SHOES (UK, 1948), tops the program. It will be presented in the Debussy Theater with Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell in attendance.

The movie has been restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in association with The British Film Institute, The Film Foundation, ITV Global Entertainment Ltd., and Janus Films, with funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes), The Film Foundation, and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation.

2. The Cinema Masterclass of the Dardenne Brothers - Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne will give the Cinema Masterclass at the 62nd Festival, Tuesday, 19 May. They won their first Palme d'or for ROSETTA in 1999. Like Francis Coppola, Emir Kusturica, Billie August and Shohei Imamura before, they have won more than one Palme d'or. They won their second in 2005 for THE CHILD, and followed with another for Best Screenplay in 2008's LORNA'S SILENCE.

As Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino, Nanni Moretti and Wong Kar-Wai have done at previous Festivals, they will talk with Michel Ciment about their unusual career, their work at filming and writing together, the meaning that they give to their creation. They will welcome festival-goers, film buffs and journalists at the Buñuel theatre.

See my previous post, "Here Comes Cannes," 26 April.

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