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CANNES 2015 Selection

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Ten Europeans to battle it out for the Palme d’Or

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- Seven new entrees and nine filmmakers who have already won awards are among the 17 titles selected so far for a competition in which Italy and France shine the brightest

Ten Europeans to battle it out for the Palme d’Or
Youth by Paolo Sorrentino

“Our mission is to put new names on the map of world cinema.” As he unveiled the official selection of the 68th Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May 2015) at midday in Paris, General Delegate Thierry Frémaux (joined by president Pierre Lescure) announced the idea behind an edition that reflects his ambitions of rejuvenation and risk-taking. This “new look” showcase in competition is nonetheless very firmly backed up by directors who have already won much acclaim on the Croisette, with the current list of the 17 contenders for the Palme d'Or 2015 set to become a few titles richer next week.

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We find two former victors in competition: Italy’s Nanni Moretti (Palme d’Or in 2001 – taking part for the seventh time – read the review) and US director Gus Van Sant (who was triumphant in 2003 – taking part for the fourth time). They are joined by seven directors who have already won awards: Oscar-winning Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (taking part for the sixth time – read the news), his fellow countryman Matteo Garrone (taking part for the third time – read the news), French directors Jacques Audiard (sixth time – read the news) and Maïwenn (second time – read the news), China’s Jia Zhangke (fifth time), Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien (seventh time) and Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-Eda (fourth time). This first-rate foundation for the selection is rounded off by American director Todd Haynes (who is back following his sole appearance in competition in 1998).

A very exciting phenomenon, and one never created to such a degree by Thierry Frémaux, who nevertheless always takes care to throw new names into the extremely demanding (and therefore dangerous) deep end of the competition every year, is the fact that seven filmmakers will be making their debuts in the quest for the Palme d'Or: Norway’s Joachim Trier (read the article), Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (read the article), French filmmakers Valérie Donzelli (read the article) and Stéphane Brizé (read the news), Canada’s Denis Villeneuve, Australia’s Justin Kurzel (read the news) and Hungarian director László Nemes (read the article), who is bursting into the wide world of global cinema with his feature debut, in sensational fashion.

With four French directors (Donzelli, Maïwenn, Audiard and Brizé), three Italians (Moretti, Sorrentino and Garrone; a record number of representatives), a Norwegian (Trier), a Greek (Lanthimos) and a Hungarian (Nemes) – in other words, ten features vying for the Palme d’Or – European cinema easily takes pride of place on the menu. North America has three directors in competition (Van Sant, Haynes and Villeneuve), as does Asia (Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao Hsien and Kore-Eda). Australia is also taking part (with Kurzel), but South America and Africa are totally absent from the finest showcase of world cinema. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that, on the European side, the United Kingdom staged the production of Todd Haynes’ and Justin Kurzel’s films.

The Official Selection, which also includes a very impressive programme in the shape of the Un Certain Regard line-up (read the news), has noticeably ramped up the attractiveness of its out-of-competition section this year (Irrational Man by Woody Allen, Mad Max: Fury Road, and the two animated titles The Little Prince and Inside Out) and will be able to entice the crowds with the sheer variety of its midnight screenings (particularly the documentary Amy by Asif Kapadia) and special screenings (six titles, including Amnesia by Barbet Schroeder and the feature debut by Natalie Portman).

So far comprising 44 feature films (out of the 1,854 films that were submitted and viewed by the festival’s team), the 2015 official selection looks set to be particularly stimulating and could still become even denser with the movies that are soon to complement it, as there were certain absences that were quite surprising (those of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Miguel Gomes, for instance). While he stressed that several of the titles eagerly awaited by film buffs were not ready in time (and some of them were far from being so), Thierry Frémaux nonetheless reasserted his desire to propel new blood into the stratosphere and to shake up the Cannes traditions a little, as also demonstrated by the choice of opening film (Standing Tall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuelle Bercot
film profile
]
 by Emmanuelle Bercot – read the news – which will be screened out of competition).

Competition:
Dheepan [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
 - Jacques Audiard
La loi du marché [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Stéphane Brizé
film profile
]
 - Stéphane Brizé
Marguerite et Julien [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Valérie Donzelli
The Tale of Tales [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
 - Matteo Garrone
Carol [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Todd Haynes
The Assassin - Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Mountains May Depart - Jia Zhang-ke
Our Little Sister - Hirokazu Kore-eda
Macbeth [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
 - Justin Kurzel
The Lobster [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile
]
- Yorgos Lanthimos
Mon roi [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Maïwenn
Mia madre [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile
]
 - Nanni Moretti
Son of Saul [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile
]
 - László Nemes
Youth [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
film profile
]
 - Paolo Sorrentino
Louder than Bombs [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile
]
 - Joachim Trier
Sea of Trees - Gus Van Sant
Sicario - Denis Villeneuve

Opening film (out of competition):
Standing Tall - Emmanuelle Bercot

Out of competition:
Mad Max: Fury Road - George Miller
Irrational Man - Woody Allen
Inside Out - Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen
The Little Prince [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
 - Mark Osborne

Special screenings:
Asphalte [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Samuel Benchetrit
Oka - Souleymane Cisse
Hayored Lema'ala - Elad Keidan
Panama [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Pavle Vuckovic
Amnesia - Barbet Schroeder
A Tale of Love and Darkness - Natalie Portman

Midnight screenings:
Office - Hong Won-Chan
Amy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Asif Kapadia

Read the Un Certain Regard selection here

(Translated from French)

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