Arguably one of the most significant dates in the international film calendar, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival brings together the best of the film world in a 12-day event. The annual festival – which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary this year – kicks off today. The opening ceremony and the lure of the red-carpet steps outside the Grand Théâtre Lumière will again attract a familiar mix of big-name jury members, high-octane directors, and Hollywood actors to the French Riviera.
Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, and Michael Haneke are among the directors vying for the esteemed Palme d’Or whereas on screen, all eyes will be on Nicole Kidman – following her well-received Big Little Lies performance – as she makes an appearance in no less than four films and TV series on the event schedule. With Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, and Emma Thompson among those said to be walking the Cannes red carpet, this year is set to be as star-studded as ever. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 70th Festival International de Cannes.
The festival will open with Ismael’s Ghosts, directed by Arnaud Desplechin – who served on George Miller’s jury at the 2016 festival – and featuring two of our favourite French actors, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marion Cotillard. The film was selected to be screened out of competition. Despite all of the big names and much-anticipated films, there is not a single Hollywood studio film in this year’s festival. The president of the jury for the festival, director Pedro Almodóvar, will be joined by Miss Sloane star Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, and Paolo Sorrentino, among others. Italian actor Monica Bellucci will be the host of this year’s opening and closing ceremonies.
There is not a single Hollywood studio film in this year’s festival
There are 12 female-directed films this year, including three in competition for the Palme D’Or. Among them is Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, which stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Colin Farrell in a remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 movie of the same name. Kristen Stewart will also make her directorial debut with short film Come Swim, while Vanessa Redgrave takes a turn behind the camera for her documentary Sea Sorrow, which takes the refugee crisis as its focus.
For the first time in its seven-decade history, Cannes will include two TV series as part of its official program: the second installment of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake (starring Nicole Kidman and Elisabeth Moss) and the much-anticipated Twin Peaks.
The schedule will allow for two Netflix-produced films in the 70th annual festival: Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja – starring Tilda Swinton and Lily Collins – and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. The inclusion of the streaming giant-produced films in the timetable has caused some controversy from critics, due to the absence of a theatre release in France. A new measure citing that the films must be distributed in France will apply from the 2018 festival.