4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Daily Bite: The 66th Cannes Film Festival kicks off today
2013-05-15 : By Gearóid Gilmore
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The 66th Cannes Film Festival begins today and this year’s festival is set to be one of the most memorable in recent memory. Considered to be the most prominent film festival in the world, Cannes attracts people from all over the globe across all disciplines in the film industry, and this year’s festival will see a multitude of household names attempting to promote their in development projects.

Internationally renowned directors such as Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton along with Hollywood actors Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Timberlake, and Jackie Chan will all be in Cannes this year eager to promote their projects and seek potential buyers at the Marche du Film.

A familiar sight on the Croisette, Scorsese is in Cannes this year to source funding for his upcoming film, ‘Silence’, starring Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe. A long time passion project for the critically acclaimed director, ‘Silence’ centres on Father Rodrigues (Garfield) a17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan with a fellow priest amid rumours that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the Church.

Scorsese’s presence at this year’s festival to seek distributors for his project and the presence of many A-list industry figures is a clear sign of the way movie financing has changed in recent years and how even one of the world’s best-known filmmakers must adjust to how large productions must find their funding. Nowadays, producers and potential filmmakers are setting up events to find funding for their projects and to create a sense of anticipation and excitement for their films. For example, Lionsgate Films are hosting an exclusive party on Saturday Night to promote the latest instalment in the Hunger Games franchise, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ with lead actress Jennifer Lawrence in attendance to boost the excitement surrounding the upcoming film.

Actor and musician Justin Timberlake is also in attendance to promote the upcoming Coen Brothers film, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, and to promote the Neil Bogart biopic ‘Spinning Gold’, with Timberlake himself set to star as the infamous record executive closely associated with the rise of disco.

This year’s festival will also see the arrival of one of the world’s most recognisable sporting figures: Brazilian footballer Péle, who is in Cannes to boost the profile of a biopic based on his life. Imagine Entertainment is backing the project and International Film Trust is in line to sell.

The juries at this year’s festival contain a healthy mix of independent auteurs and Hollywood household names, with veteran Hollywood director Steven Spielberg acting as this year’s President of the Jury, which will ultimately decide this year’s winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or.

Spielberg is joined by critically acclaimed directors Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days), and actors Nicole Kidman, Christoph Waltz, and Daniel Auteil. Experimental filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, who co-founded the Dogme 95 movement along with Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier and subsequently made the subversive ‘Festen’, will head this year’s Un Certain Regard Jury and New Zealand director, writer, and producer Jane Campion (The Piano) will helm this year’s Short Film jury.

There will also be a strong Irish presence at this year’s festival, with over 150 Irish delegates flying out to the Cannes Film Festival this week with the aim of selling their films to international financiers and distributers. The Irish Pavilion, managed by the Irish Film Board, will form the central meeting point for Irish industry figures and also aims to actively promote Irish film on the international stage and Ireland as a filming location for international productions.

Among the Irish films screening and selling will be Tribeca Film Festival hit ‘Run & Jump’; Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Frank’ starring Michael Fassbender; Pat Shortt’s ‘Life’s A Breeze’; ‘The Stag’ starring Amy Huberman and Andrew Scott; and ‘Love Eternal’, directed by Brendan Muldowney. Irish director Ruairí Robinson will see his highly anticipated sci-fi epic ‘Last Days on Mars’ starring American actor Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate, Defiance) premiere as part of the Director's Fortnight, making it eligible for the Camera d’Or prize outside the main competition.

The Irish pavilion will remain open from today until the 23rd of May and the festival itself runs until the 26th of May.

For more information on the festival, click here.

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