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72nd Festival de Cannes


Starting tomorrow, Cannes will be teeming with celebrities who will be there for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. Photo: © Festival de Cannes

For its 72nd year, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off this Tuesday, 14 May. Who’s who in international film will be descending on Cannes for the most glamorous festival of the year. The Opening Ceremony on 14 May will be broadcast by Canal +, as well as in partner cinemas. Actor and director Edouard Baer will be the Master of Ceremonies and the Jury President, Alejandro González Iñárritu, will present the Palme d’Or during the closing ceremony on 25 May.

World premiere: The Dead Don’t Die

Jim Jarmusch’s latest film will be premiering at the Festival while also being in the competition.

This year’s Festival is making history by opening with a world premiere of a film that is simultaneously screening in competition – something that hasn’t been done before.

Jim Jarmusch's new film, ‘The Dead Don't Die’ will screen in the Grand Théâtre Lumière on 14 May, the first screening of the competition. The zombie thriller/comedy features an incredibly star-studded cast and is the American director’s first foray into the zombie genre (after a western, a Samurai crime flick and a vampire love story).  

‘The Dead Don’t Die’ is Jarmusch's thirteenth feature film and is said to be ‘humorous and sometimes scary subversion of the genre (with a nod to George Romero’s seminal film, Night of the Living Dead ) but also a tribute to cinema itself.’ He was quintessential in bringing attention to the new independent American cinema when he won the Camera d’Or in 1984 for ‘Stranger Than Paradise.’ Since then, he has been honoured with four awards, including the Short Film Palme d'Or in 1993 for ‘Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California’ and the Grand Prix in 2005 for ‘Broken Flowers.’ His films are described as artful and soulful universes, with inspired soundtracks, offbeat humour. He highlights the meanderings of his anti-heroes, shedding light on a very non-Hollywood America and sometimes a slightly strange world.

‘The Dead Don’t Die’ promises to be "the greatest zombies cast ever disassembled" and will surely be a funny, weird ride. The cast: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez, RZA, Sara Driver, Austin Butler, Luka Sabbat, Eszter Balint, Carol Kane and Tom Waits. Will we see them ripping each other apart and laughing at the same time? We will have to wait and see...


Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Los Angeles, US, 2014. Photo: Bart Michiels Festival’s first Latin American Jury President

Alejandro González Iñárritu is a filmmaking genius. His style is fresh, unusual and highly creative, often pushing the boundaries of accepted practice. He is the first and most awarded Mexican director ever, with numerous films taking nominations and awards.

He made his directorial debut in Cannes with Amores Perros (2000), which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. His first American Film, 21 Grams, earned nominations for both leading characters, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro. Babel, which told different stories across three continents in five different languages, earned seven Oscar nominations and Iñárritu was awarded Best Director at the 2006 Festival de Cannes.

Last year, he created the first-ever virtual reality art installation for the Festival, Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically invisible), which addressed the current migrant situation. The installation also showed in Milan, Mexico City, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The installation earned Iñárritu his fifth Oscar after the Board of Governors of the Academy voted to give him a ‘special’ Oscar, which has only happened 15 times in history.

His dark comedy, Birdman (2014), took home Oscars for Best Director, Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the 2015 Academy Awards. His latest film, The Revenant, gave him his second Oscar in a row for Best Director and made headlines for finally getting Leonardo Di Caprio an Oscar for Best Actor.

Taking over from Cate Blanchett, last year’s jury president, Iñárritu’s presence will be celebrating Mexican cinema. In a statement he said:

“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career. I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honour of presiding over the Jury, he has declared. Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion.”


Celebrating originality: Prix Un Certain Regard

Nadine_Labaki_by_Matteo_Chinellato_(cropped). Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

Created by Gilles Jacob in 1978, the ‘Un Certain Regard’ is a part of the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection, running parallel to the Palme d’Or award. Meaning ‘from another point of view’, this jury chooses 20 original and different films that tell stories in non-traditional ways. The prize was developed to recognize and support young talent and offers a grant to aid in French distribution of the film.

Lebanese director Nadine Labaki will be this year’s President of the ‘Un Certain Regard’ Jury. Her Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated film, Capernaum, moved audiences at last year’s festival, for which she took home the Jury Prize.

The multi-talented Nadine Labaki is a director, actress, and screenwriter whose career was launched right here in Cannes where she studied film. Since then, she has chosen Cannes to debut all three of her feature films. Last year, Capernaum catapulted her to international fame, from the red carpet of the Palais to the Academy Awards this past February.

In a press release, she stated: "I remember back when I used to come to Cannes as a film student, I was so excited to experience the world's most prestigious festival. Back then, it seemed so out of reach to me. I remember getting up early in the morning and the endless queues to get a ticket. It seems like yesterday, but it was fifteen years ago that I filled in the Festival de Cannes' Cinéfondation registration form, my heart full of hope and my handshaking.

Today, I am the President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, which just goes to show that sometimes life can be even better than your dreams. I can't wait to see the films in the Selection. I can't wait to debate and discuss, to be shaken up, to find inspiration in other artists' work." [...]

To see the full schedule of film screenings, visit the Cannes Festival website:

-Nicole Ruskell