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Entries in film festivals (167)


Ladies and Gentlemen and Kidmaniacs, I Give You The Cannes Jury

Cannes is just three weeks away and the final jury lineup has been announced. We knew Steven Spielberg would head the jury but his team was still semi-secret. They are...

Just months after competing for an extra Oscar, they'll be discussing other people's movies

Competition Jury

  • Daniel Auteuil (French actor/director)
  • Vidya Balan (Indian actress)
  • Naomi Kawase (Japanese director)
  • Nicole Kidman (Australian actress/producer)
  • Ang Lee (Taiwanese director/producer/scriptwriter)
  • Cristian Mungiu (Romanian scriptwriter/director/producer)
  • Lynne Ramsay (British scriptwriter/director/producer)
  • Steven Spielberg (American director) PRESIDENT OF JURY
  • Christoph Waltz (Austrian Actor)


Only one thing is certain about the outcome based on the composition of the team: By May 26th, Nicki's auteur lust will devour their collective imagination and they'll surely be competing for her hand in filmmaking. Which one of these directors will she work with next? (I mean, besides Steven Spielberg who Kate Capshaw aside, isn't particularly excited by actresses.) Can her first Romanian picture be far off? I'd most love to see what Lynne Ramsay could wrangle out of Kidman but I assume that Ramsay might have difficulty getting funding for her next picture given the ugly fallout from her sudden departure from Jane Got a Gun

Some years ago I made this visual and it still applies. But you just change the names as the years go by and Kidman recalibrates her attacks. Always plotting for legacy, that one!

Despite the media blitz that accompanies Cannes headliners, the competition jury is never the only jury at Cannes. It's just the one with all the headliners. There are multiple less glitzy but not necessarily less talented juries overseeing other prizes as well. 

Short Films Jury

  • Maji-da Abdi (Ethiopian actress/producer)
  • Jane Campion (New Zealand, director) PRESIDENT OF JURY
  • Nandita Das (Indian actress/director)
  • Semith Kaplanoglu (Turkey, writer/director/producer)

Un Certain Regard Jury
This jury decides who to spotlight in the realm of up-and-coming filmmakers (the ones Cannes isn't yet ready to include in the Competition lineup. Last year their prize went to the Mexican feature After Lucia which Amir wrote about here.) This jury lineup has not yet been announced but Thomas Vinterberg that handsome Dane who made the dogme masterpiece Festen (A Celebration) in the late 90s and whose current  feature The Hunt is winning him the best reviews he's seen since that startling debut will preside over this jury.

Can't wait to see which films they all embrace... and which auteurs win Nicole Kidman's hand. 




Cannes: The Official Slate

It's afternoon in Paris but bright and early here in NYC and the official Cannes lineup has been announced. In 28 days Baz Luhrmann and his undoubtedly enormous Bazmark posse will be hitting the Croisette for the opening night film The Great Gatsby.  Immediately following that debut reactions will explode chaotically all over the web with unvariably less art-directed beauty than the fireworks in the film. 

But here's what'll actually be competing for the Palme D'Or and assorted main jury prizes. 


  • Behind The Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh)
  • Borgman (Alex Van Warmerdam)
  • Un Chateau En Italie (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi)
  • La Grande Bellezza (Paolo Sorrentino)
  • Grisgris (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
  • Heli (Amat Escalante)
  • The Immigrant (James Gray)
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  • Jeune Et Jolie (Francois Ozon)
  • Jimmy P (Arnaud Desplechin)
  • Michael Kohlhaas (Arnaud Despallieres)
  • Nebraska (Alexander Payne) 
  • Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn)
  • The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
  • Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
  • Tian Zhu Ding (Zhangke Jia)
  • Venus In Fur (Roman Polanski)
  • La Vie D'Adele (Abdellatif Kechiche)
  • Wara No Tate (Takashi Miike) 

Which of those films are you bullish on for prizes and/or your own impending fandom? Out of competition and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Fringe! Interview: Alan Brown on 'Five Dances'

David here, with an interview from Private Romeo director Alan Brown on his latest film Five Dances, which opened this year's Fringe! Film Festival in London, a celebration of multiple queer films and artists.

Chip (Ryan Steele) and Theo (Reed Luplau)

‘I purposely wanted to test myself – I wanted to work in a freer environment. And it was terrifying -  purposely so!’ Alan Brown laughs as he describes the genesis of his latest feature. Five Dances received its European premiere as the opening night of the third London Fringe! Film Festival, a volunteer-run festival that has quickly grown in stature since 2011.

Five Dances is Brown’s fourth feature, following the great success of his homo-Shakespeare adaptation Private Romeo, currently available to watch instantly on Netflix. Brown slides together dance and drama as he tells the story of Chip (Ryan Steele), a young dancer who’s moved from smalltown Kansas to the bright lights of New York and joins a small dance company rehearsing Anthony’s (Luke Murphy) new choreography. [more]

Click to read more ...


Hot Docs '13

Hi everyone! Amir here, to bring you exciting festival news at month's end. Nathaniel is heading to the Nashville Film Festival as a jury member and for the first time at The Film Experience, we’re also going to cover the Hot Docs Festival, North America’s largest documentary fest, which is held in Toronto. It’s a record breaking year for their ever-expanding programme: there are 205 documentaries screening, 44 of which are world premieres.

The Manor, Hot Docs' opening film

Hot Docs hits two important milestones this year. First, the festival turns 20: “It’s not a teenager anymore” as the director announced at the press conference; it's a major triumph for a niche festival to become a mainstay. Second, Bloor Cinema, the theatre that hosts most of the screenings turns 100! It’s one of Canada’s oldest and most nostalgia inducing cinemas. Had it not been for their incredibly cheap memberships and close proximity to my university, I’d never have seen masterpieces like The 400 Blows, A Space Odyssey, Talk to Her, Rear Window and many, many others on the big screen, so I personally hold it very dear. Hot Docs’ ownership of the theatre, however, means that in recent years the screenings have been mostly limited to documentary films, but I’m certain the festival will acknowledge the theatre’s long history.

For the Oscar-inclined, I should note that Hot Docs' relationship with the awards season isn’t a consistent one, which is understandable given the low exposure many documentaries receive outside the festival circuit. However there are films like The Cove and Hell and Back Again that premiere here and go on to march towards Oscar's red carpet. 

The festival runs from April 25th to May 5th and will open with a Canadian film called The Manor, directed by Shawney Cohen, about his personal experience of growing up in a Jewish family that run a famous strip club in Suburban Ontario.  


Thoughts I Had While Staring at the Cannes '13 Poster

• Does this mean Joanne Woodward is making an appearance at Cannes this year? If so... Yay!

• Not that it will matter to me as I never get to go. *sniffle*

Rachel Rachel (1968), Paul Newman's directorial debut, is an awesome movie and it's kind of crazy that he didn't really catch the directing bug after it. It was nominated for best picture and it's probably his best (directed) movie... so maybe he knew it was downhill from there and we needed him as a movie star instead?

• Speaking of Rachel Rachel, Estelle Parson is SO much better in that movie than she is in her Oscar-winning role in Bonnie & Clyde.

• If God loved me he'd part the oceanic waters and let me get to Cannes... by which I mean he'd buy me round trip plane tickets and lux hotel accomodations. 

• I'm sure can buy this as a poster but forget that. I want it painted like a mural on my ceiling so I can fall asleep hypnotized by Paul & Joanne every night.

• Now I'm dying to see if there's any vintage photos of Paul & Joanne AT Cannes

• True story: I just finished a box of Paul Newman bran cereal the morning before this poster was released which is a really weird coincidence because I haven't bought a box in years before that one.

• It Newman's Own products helped you look like Paul Newman, I would eat nothing else.