So I’m Going to Cannes

Hey there readers,

Cinefille here. Welcome. I’ve been a blogging about movies and pop culture for over three years now, which brings me to my latest blogging project – Cinefille at Cannes.

On Friday night, my friends, who have aptly named themselves Leni Riefenstahl and Maya Deren (because that won’t get confusing), and I learned that we had been accepted into the American Pavilion Student Filmmakers Program at the Cannes Film Festival.

Through the program, we’ll get to see a side of the film industry that most film students will never experience (at least not until they’ve been working in the industry for some time). We will be attending Cannes, the largest film festival and market in the world with full access to the festival.

We each have our own reasons for attending the festival through the AmPav program – Leni wants to learn about distribution; Maya wants to learn about becoming an editor; and me – I am going to (hopefully) learn all about entertainment journalism. There is no better place for the three of us to learn about the industry and about what we possibly want to do within the industry than at the largest and oldest film festival in the world.

The festival isn’t until May, but as an overextended college student I’m always looking for ways to procrastinate. I mean, I already have two blogs, so why not create another months before I really need to. Leading up to the festival I will be writing about anything and everything I can about the festival. During the festival, I will be blogging about Cannes (I know, big surprise) and our experiences at the festival.

Leni and Maya are two of my closest friends at Mount Holyoke. I can’t imagine going to Cannes for the first time (ideally there will be many more to come after this) without them. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I plan to experience Cannes for all it is worth.

2008 Cannes Film Festival Wrap-Up

The 61st annual Cannes Film Festival concluded today with the presentation of the top prizes during the closing ceremonies.

The Palme d’Or was awarded to the French film The Class (Entre les Murs) directed by Laurent Cantet. Based on a best-selling autobiography by François Bégaudeau, this documentary style drama follows a year in the life of French schoolteacher, played by Bégaudeau, working in the multiculural section of Paris. According to the New York Times, “The Class is given great life by the performances of the nonprofessional actors playing the students” (pictured with director Cantet above). The Class is the first French film in 21 years to win the Palme d’Or and was a unanimous selection by jury to win the prize.

The Grand Prix – the prize for first runner-up – went to Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah, a brutally realistic examination of organized crime in Naples

The Jury Prize -awarded to the second runner-up – went to Il Divo, also an Italian film. Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, IlDivo is a highly stylized portrait of the former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti.

Benicio del Toro received the Best Actor prize for his role as Che Guerva in Steven Soderbergh’s Che. While Sandra Corveloni received the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a working-class mother in São Paulo in Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas’s Linha de Passe.

The directing award went to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys and the screenplay award went to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for Le Silence de Lorna.

For more a thorough recap of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, read “At Glittery Cannes, A Gritty Palme d’Or” from the New York Times.

2008 Cannes Lineup Announced

2008_Cannes_Film_Festival_posterThe Juries and Official Selections of the 61st annual Cannes Film Festival have been announced.

Sean Penn will head the Feature Film Jury, which also includes Sergio Castellitto, Natalie Portman,  Alfonso Cuaron, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Alexandra Maria Lara and Rachid Bouchareb.


The 19 films competing for the Palmes D’Or are:

ÜÇ MAYMUN (THREE MONKEYS) – (director Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

LE SILENCE DE LORNA (dir. Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne)

UN CONTE DE NOËL (dir Arnaud Desplechin)

CHANGELING (dir Clint Eastwood)

ADORATION (dir Atom Egoyan)

WALTZ WITH BASHIR (dir Ari Folman)

LA FRONTIÈRE DE L’AUBE (dir Philippe Garrel)

GOMORRA (Gomorrah) (dir Matteo Garrone)

24 CITY (dir Jia Zhangke)

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (dir Charlie Kaufman)

MY MAGIC (dir Eric Khoo)

LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (dir Lucrecia Martel)

SERBIS (dir Brillante Mendoza)

DELTA (dir Kornel Mundruczo)

LINHA DE PASSE (dir Daniela Thomas, Walter Salles)

CHE (dir Steven Soderbergh)

IL DIVO (dir Paolo Sorrentino)

LEONERA (dir Pablo Trapero)


More information on the 2008 Cannes Film Festival here.

2007 Cannes Film Festival Preview

The 21 films competing for the Palm d’Or were announced today. Interestingly enough, 13 of the 21 nominees are upcoming young filmmakers.

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Tarantino, Kusturica, Van Sant lead Cannes charge
By AFP [source]

PARIS, April 19, 2007 (AFP) – Veteran directors Quentin Tarantino, Emir Kusturica, Gus Van Sant and Wong Kar Wai will be vying against a large group of up-and-coming young filmmakers for the top prize at this year’s Cannes film festival, organisers revealed Thursday.

The mix of old and new in the list of the 21 films competing for the Palme d’Or trophy showed how the cinema event — the biggest in the world — was striving to remain fresh even as it celebrated its 60th year.

The traditional reliance on red-carpet glamour will also be stepped up, with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matt Damon, Al Pacino and Andy Garcia all expected for the premiere of Ocean’s Thirteen, to be screened out of competition.

Michael Moore, who won the Palme in 2004 for his biting documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, will be back with another out-of-competition film sure to needle President George W. Bush, about the US health system, while British director Michael Winterbottom will be screening his film about the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.

The festival programme presented at a Paris media conference displayed a balance between experienced old hands and fresh faces that will characterise the May 16-27 event on the French Riviera.

Wong, the Hong Kong director who was jury president last year, will be given the honour of opening the festival with My Blueberry Nights, an English-language road-trip movie starring singer Norah Jones.

The Palme d’Or competition will then continue with Tarantino — who already won the Palme in 1994 for “Pulp Fiction”, and who also headed the Cannes jury three years ago — presenting his Death Proof.

The movie, packed with the US director’s trademark banter and bloodshed, is being being released as half of a two-part gore collaboration called Grindhouse.

Kusturica, a two-time Palme winner, will be returning with Promise Me This, an off-the-wall story about an old Serbian man praying his son finds a wife.

Van Sant, who won the Palme d’Or in 2003 for Elephant, his film inspired by the Columbine High School massacre, will show Paranoid Park, another US urban expose that starts when a teenaged skateboarder accidentally kills a security guard.

They will be joined by a bunch of new faces, among them an Iranian, Marjane Satrapi, who will be bringing her popular comic books about life in Tehran to the big screen, and Fatih Akin, a German of Turkish heritage.

There will also be a young South Korean director, Lee Chang-dong, and a Romanian one, Cristian Mungui.

As per tradition, three slots went to French films, among them a musical titled Les Chansons d’Amour by Christophe Honore.

This year’s Palme d’Or jury is headed by British director Stephen Frears, who made the award-winning film The Queen about Queen Elizabeth II struggling in the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana.

He will be joined by eight other personalities from the cinema and literary worlds, including actresses Toni Colette from Australia and Maggie Cheung from China, and Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk from Turkey.

Out of competition, Michael Moore will be screening Sicko, his expose of America’s inequitous health care system, while Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart is certain to draw attention with its story about Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. The movie stars Angelina Jolie as Pearl’s distraught wife.

Sidebar competitions and screenings in the sprawling market section of Cannes mean hundreds of other films will also be shown during the festival’s 10-day run, making it an unparalleled celluloid extravaganza.

Nearly 4,000 journalists from around the world cover the event, which is attended by around 10,000 movie industry professionals and scores of show business stars.


The Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 16 to 27. For more information, visit the official website.