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CANNES 2014 Competition

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French production bands together to hunt the Palme d’Or

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- Twelve French co-productions are battling it out for the top prize, a shining symbol of the openness of the country’s film industry to the rest of the world

French production bands together to hunt the Palme d’Or
Two Days, One Night by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

In a world in which borders are more flexible than they were previously, and in which the film industry is forging a great many artistic and economic links, the issue of a film’s nationality can end up being quite puzzling today, and can even lead to a few headaches for selectors (read the interview with Thierry Frémaux). And the line-up of the 67th Cannes Festival, which kicks off today, reflects these question marks, while demonstrating the very high degree of openness to international talent exhibited by French film production. 

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The first oddity this year is that, among the three films officially representing France in the race for the Palme d'Or (read the news), two (The Search [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile
]
by Michel Hazanavicius and Clouds of Sils Maria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Charles Gillibert
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
by Olivier Assayas) are English-language features; only Saint-Laurent [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Bertrand Bonello
film profile
]
by Bertrand Bonello is in French. 

Furthermore, two other majority French productions are in the running (Goodbye to Language [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard - produced by Wild Bunch - and Timbuktu [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Mauritania’s Abderrahmane Sissako – produced by Les Films du Worso), as are five minority ones: Two Days, One Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
film profile
]
by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium 46%, France 42% and Italy 10%; co-produced by Archipel 35 and France 2 Cinéma, pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+), Jimmy's Hall [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Ken Loach
film profile
]
by Ken Loach (UK 41%, Ireland 39% and France 20%, executive-produced by Why Not Productions, co-produced by Wild Bunch and France 2 Cinéma, pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+), Mr Turner [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
]
by Mike Leigh (UK 66%, Germany 22% and France 12%; co-produced by Diaphana), Winter Sleep [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
film profile
]
by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey 60%, France 20%, Germany 20% - co-produced by Memento Films Productions) and Still the Water [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Naomi Kawase (produced with Japan by Comme des Cinémas, co-produced by Arte France Cinéma). And we mustn’t forget David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars (executive-produced by SBS Productions with Canada and Germany) and The Homesman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Tommy Lee Jones (executive-produced by EuropaCorp with the USA). 

French production’s get-up-and-go, open attitude to the rest of the world can be observed in all of the selections on the Croisette, and it affects modest arthouse films by as-yet-unknown directors from small countries as well as projects offered by renowned filmmakers, which attract a lot more media attention. This is an active stance that certainly fuels the line-ups of French distribution companies and international sales agents, but which primarily allows many filmmakers to make their projects a reality. It is an openness to diversity, symbolised by the 11 films being showcased on the Croisette that have been backed by the CNC’s “Aide aux cinémas du monde” programme. Among other titles, this list includes the films in the running for the Palme d’Or by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako, Xenia [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Panos H. Koutras
film profile
]
by Greece’s Panos H Koutras and Force majeure [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
by Swedish director Ruben Östlund, three Argentinian titles (Jauja [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Lisandro Alonso, Refugiado [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Diego Lerman and The Ardor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Pablo Fendrik) and three Israeli ones (That Lovely Girl by Karen Yedaya, The Kindergarten Teacher [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Nadav Lapid, and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz).

(Translated from French)

ArteKino
Les Arcs call
Unwanted_Square_Cineuropa_01
 

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