The Cannes Film Festival presented its 2020 election on Wednesday, although the event in its usual form has been canceled. We Anderson, François Ozon and Steve McQueen will be in the limelight.
The image is symbolic. It was in front of the empty armchairs at the UGC Normandy cinema in Paris that the president of the Cannes festival, Pierre Lescure, and his general delegate Thierry Frémaux, presented the “official selection for 2020” on Wednesday, June 3.
73e The festival edition has to be canceled this year because of the global health crisis, a first in 70 years. But the organizers of the world’s largest film festival, with Venice and Berlin, are not released and present a selection without competition.
The list of selected films includes the long-awaited “The French Dispatch” by Wes Anderson, “Eté85” by François Ozon or two films by Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen.
In total, 56 films make up this exceptional “official selection”, where the films are not usually divided into sections such as the contest, “out of the competition” or “special screenings”.
“This selection shows that cinema is still alive, it was also under containment,” said Thierry Frémaux, responsible for the selection. “The filmmakers haven’t given up since they sent us 2,067 films, which is a record,” he said.
“We had to find other forms,” he continued, indicating that the festival would “follow the films” kept “in theaters, festivals and digital”.
“Cannes faithful” is there
Some films, which are expected in selection, are “absent because their writers and producers have chosen to postpone their release for winter or spring 2020,” he explained. But others are there.
Among those he defined as “the believers in Cannes, the tenors,” the American Wes Anderson was chosen, above all without surprise, for “The French Dispatch”, filmed in Angoulême, in southwestern France, with a host of stars including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Timothée Chalamet.
The director of “Twelve Years a Slave”, the Briton Steve McQueen, is on his page on the list of two films, “Lovers Rock” and “Mangrove”. “Two historical films,” of which one “Mangrove” is “a film of the trial of police officers harassing the black community”, a theme that “resonates very dramatically with what happened to George Floyd and Adama Traoré”, Thierry Frémaux explained.
Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase is selected with “True Mothers”, a film about adoption, and Danish Thomas Vinterberg with “Druk” during the 1950s crisis.
In the case of French films, especially well represented with 21 feature films, François Ozon was chosen specifically with “Eté85”, which will be released on July 15.
Maïwenn, who presented in Cannes in the competition “Polisse” in 2011 and “Mon roi” in 2015, is also selected with “ADN”, a film “extraordinary touch” that provokes “his return to his roots”.
First movie and comedy
This selection is also marked by a large number of first feature films: 15 (more than a quarter of the total), compared to 10 in 2019.
Among these, several actors who pass behind the camera, such as “Falling” by Viggo Mortensen, “Ibrahim” by Samir Guesmi or “Garçon chiffon” by Nicolas Maury, are known for their role in the series “Dix pour a hundred”.
The festival has also chosen five comedies in a desire to “take risks or try things”, according to Thierry Frémaux, among them “Les Deux Alfred” by Bruno Podalydès, “L’origine du monde” by Laurent Lafitte, or still “Un Triomphe” by Emmanuel Courcol, “a” feel good movie “with Kad Merad”.
Four animated films were also selected, including “Soul” by Pete Docter, the latest addition to Pixar studios.
The festival in Cannes is approaching Mostra
With this Cannes2020 label, the festival hopes, above all, to let these films benefit from maximum exposure, while the cinema sector is hit hard by the crisis.
Thierry Frémaux had also indicated to work with collaborations with other international festivals.
“We talked a lot,” he said, recalling that the idea had been raised “to do something” with the Venice Film Festival, which will be held in early September. “The Cannes Film Festival will soon reveal how it will work next fall,” he promised.