The 66th Cannes Film Festival
Running from May 15 to 26, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival promises to be as glam and glitzy as ever. It’s summed up by The Great Gatsby which opens the festival. Directed by Baz Lurhmann and starring Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan, the film is creating a huge storm. And what better place to show it than at Cannes on the French Riviera where F. Scott Fitzgerald finished the novel in 1923.
The Stars of 2013
Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan will be there, and plenty of other great names. Steven Spielberg is President of this year's Jury, so he'll be there along with many of his colleagues: Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Forest Whitaker, Robert Redford…the names will all appear, sealing the reputation of the French Riviera as one of the most star-studded places on the planet.
President of the Jury
The President of the Jury judging the main films this year is Steven Spielberg. He became a regular at the Festival after Sugarland Express (the first film he made for the cinema that won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 1974), and Color Purple helped establish his name. Currently Steven Spielberg is enjoying the greatest praise for Lincoln, the film that enabled Daniel Day-Lewis to win his third Oscar, a first in the industry.
There’s a delightful introduction to Spielberg's invitation from Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival. He had been trying for years to get the great man to be head of the jury, but he was always busy filming. They had a long history. As Gilles Jacob said: "It was with E.T. that I screened as a world premiere in '82 that ties were made of the type you never forget. Ever since, I’ve often asked Steven to be Jury President, but he’s always been shooting a film. So when this year I was told "E.T., phone home", I understood and immediately replied: "At last!"
The Feature Films Jury
Steven Spielberg presides over the Feature Films Jury, made up of eight top international film figures. They are Vidya Balan (Indian actress); Naomi Kawase (Japanese director); the Australian actress and producer Nicole Kidman; Lynne Ramsay (British scriptwriter/director/ producer); Daniel Auteuil (French actor/director); Ang Lee (Taiwanese director/producer/scriptwriter); Cristian Mungiu (Romanian scriptwriter/director/producer), and Christoph Waltz (Austrian actor).
Together they decide between the films in competition. The prizewinners are announced during the Closing Cereemony on May 27th, which leads to the most coveted award of all – the Palme d’Or.
23 films are in the competition this year. In the line up is the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaacs, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake; Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra which is apparently the director’s last film; and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. There are many other worthy contenders between the first and the final film, which is the thriller Zulu shot entirely on location in South Africa, directed by Jérôme Salle and starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom.
Un Certain Regard
So onto Un Certain Regard. The winner is chosen from 18 original films selected from different counties. It's in contrast to the more commercial selection with the films shown at the Salle Debussy. It starts with Sofia Coppola’s saga of delinquents The Bling Ring. Also included in this category are two first films, Bends by Flora Lau and Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler.
The jury is headed up by Thomas Vinterberg, the Danish director and producer.
Out of Competition
This is the bit the general public can see and makes the Cannes Film Festival a real treat. The films are not in competition and are shown at the Theatre Lumière and the open-air Cinéma de la Plage. This year’s include J.C. Chandor’s All is Lost with Robert Reford, Blood Ties from Guillaume Canet, and Le Dernier des Injustes (The Last of the Unjust) from Claude Lanzmann.
At the delightful Cinema de la Plage on the beach at Cannes, the public can also see the films being shown in the Cannes Classics section.
Cannes Classics this year is the usual feast of nostalgia and world’s greatest hits. You get the chance to see the likes of Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor; Beauty and the Beast from Jean Cocteau; Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Cleopatra from Joseph Mankiewicz; Hiroshima Mon Amour from Alain Resnais; Billy Wilder’s Fedora Remastered as well as Opium from Arielle Dombasle, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) from Marco Ferreri and many more. So if you’re lucky enough to be in Cannes during the Festival, go to the Cannes Tourist Office for information and tickets.
Jane Campion is in charge of the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury of the 66th Cannes Film Festival. She follows in the footsteps of Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Martin Scorsese and John Boorman.
The Cinéfondation and Short Film jury is made up of five judges from both the film and literature worlds, choosing three prize winners from among the Cinéfondation’s selection of film school entrants. They are also reponsible for choosing the winner of short film Palme d’or, presented during the closing ceremony of the Festival, on Sunday May 26th 2013.
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