Saturday, April 09, 2011

Here Comes the Cannes Film Festival 2011

2011 Cannes Festival Poster
Faye Dunaway photographed by Jerry Schatzberg in 1970

Robert De Nero, Jury President

The 64th International Film Festival of Cannes will open May 11th and run through the 22nd. Cannes isn’t the oldest festival - that honor goes to Venice - but it is one of, if not the most, influential film festivals in the world.

The opening night ceremonies May 11th, presided over by Inglourious Basterds star Melanie Laurent, will feature the world premiere of Woody Allen’s latest, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, a romantic comedy (romcom), which will simultaneously open in theatres all over France. Allen, after romanticizing New York, Barcelona and London, moves on to Paris, which is already considered the most romantic city in the Western World.

For MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Allen has assembled a stellar international cast consisting of: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard (French, portrayed Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose), Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody (mother is 
Hungarian photographer Sylvia Plach; The Pianist), Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (Italo-French, and she is First Lady of France), Gad Elmaleh (Moroccan comedian) and Léa Seydoux (France, Inglourious Basterds). Sony Pictures has acquired the movie.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is officially a Spanish production, and no word yet if it will be in competition at Cannes. Usually, Allen’s films that have a festival premiere do not compete.

If embed doesn't work, click this link to watch trailer:

American actor/producer Robert De Niro will serve as President of the Jury at Cannes. As such he will preside over the main competition which awards the top prize, Palm d'Or (Golden Palm), to the Best Feature Film at the festival and other jury awards.

In issuing the invitation, the organizers stated they are also paying a tribute to the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2011. Robert De Niro, well known for his love of New York, co-founded Manhattan’s Tribeca Film Center in 1989, the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002, which has a sister festival in Doha.

Doha (DOUGH-ha) is the capital of the Emirate of Qatar (KAH-tar), but Qatar is not a member of the United Arab Emirates. It is, however, a member of The Arab League, the same Arab League that recently approved the no-fly policy for Libya. Doha’s sister city in the U.S. is Houston, Texas, and Doha will host the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2022.

Michel Gondry will preside over the Short Film and Cinefondation jury. One can hardly get more French than Gondry, who was born in Versailles, France. He won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which he also directed. Currently, his latest directorial effort, THE GREEN HORNET, released January 14, 2011, has grossed over $200 million world wide as this goes to press.

The Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica is president of the Un Certain Regard jury at the Festival. Every year, Un Certain Regard, alongside the Competition, presents around twenty films from countries the world over. The 2010 Prix Un Certain Regard Prix (Prize) was awarded to Korean director Hong Sang Soo (alternate name: Sang-Su Hong), for Ha Ha Ha.

Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean-Paul Belmondo Pictures    French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo will be honored on Tuesday, May 17, with a special evening held in his honor. He will walk the red carpet surrounded by friends and admirers and attend the première of Vincent Perrot and Jeff Domenech’s documentary, Belmondo, The Career. The screening will be followed by a dinner and party. Belmondo, from the late 1950s, worked with many of the world’s finest directors including: Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville, François Truffaut, Claude Lelouch, Alain Resnais, Vittorio De Sica and Alberto Lattuada.

To access the Festival’s official Web site in various languages, click the title of this post. Then, select the language you want. Detailed information on all the films in the Official Selection, the Juries and certain events, will be available online one week prior to the opening of the Festival.

The Official Festival Press conference for the 64th Cannes International Film Festival will be held on April 14th. The 2011 press kit containing lists of the Juries and the films selected will be available to download after that date. There will be more information on all this in next weekend’s blog post.

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