Cannes Festival: Clap, 65th take!

65 is usually the time when you retire. Not for Cannes' festival. Looking more fresh than ever, the film-making industry's annual powwow will take place between the 16th and the 27th of May. The festival boasts this year again an impressive list of competing long features, directed by the likes of David Cronenberg, Wes Anderson, Jacques Audiard or Ken Loach to cite only a few. Presided by the astute Italian film-maker Nani Morreti, with British actor Ewan Mc Gregor and renowned Haitian documentary-maker Raoul Peck among its members, the jury will have the hard task to pick only one winner...

Celebrating cinema's diversity with a common aim

One of Cannes' festival avowed aim is to celebrate the immense diversity of cinema. Thinking itself as a showcase for innovation and audacity, the festival has built with years several type of competitions awarding different kind of films. The “Official Selection” – consult its list of selected films here, of which the winner is awarded the famous “Palme d'Or”, remains the most prestigious but other “side” competitions are gaining a growing attention from the professionals and the fans alike. An example is the “Director's Fortnight”, which wishes to promote independent, avant-garde minded cinema. With a Chinese interpretation of the “Dangerous Liaisons”, a Franco-Algerian long-feature on the aftermath of Algerian civil war (“El Taib”) or the last work of celebrated French director Michel Gondry (“The We and the I”), the competition should this year again remain true to its motto.

African presence

Last year was exceptional for African and South African cinema at Cannes' festival. “Skoonheid”, Oliver Hermanus' startling second long-feature, competed in the "Un Certain Regard" competition, a category that focuses on films with an "original aim and aesthetic". It was the first Afrikaans-spoken movie to be selected in the festival's history, and it won the “Queer Palm” for the best contribution to gay issues. No South African film have been retained in this year's various competitions but Africa will be represented by Moussa Touré, a Senegalese director, in the same “Un Certain Regard” category. His third long-feature “La Pirogue” (“The Dugout”) depicts the horrendous sea journey of illegal immigrant to France.

Hadrien Diez