Cannes Film Festival: The Competition Begins!

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Torrential Rain and Soaked red carpets at Cannes simply added to the romance of the movies.Image Courtesy
Torrential Rain and Soaked red carpets at Cannes simply added to the romance of the movies. Image Courtesy: My Desert

The rains are relentless at Cannes as the red carpets get soaked, and celebrities sashay around underneath their umbrellas. Sometimes one gets the feeling that the Rain Gods are creating a setting akin to the movies being screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Beautiful, dark & sombre. You get the feeling that you are in a screen shot from Monsoon Shootout. And yet, everyone’s loving every single minute of it. There is a sense of romance that the rains bring to the region that’s quite unfathomable.

Selection of the Final Contenders:

Thierry Fremaux, the general secretary of the Cannes Film Festival said he had screened over 1858 films from across the globe, before making his difficult choices. He added that one can’t limit the selection only to the 20 films, in the same way that one cannot categorically say that only those books that won a Pulitzer matter! It’s all about individual choices.

After 4 days at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, five films from the competition have already been screened. Yet “The Past” by Ashgar Farhadi seems to be a strong contender with the critics and audience. The film explores the intricacies of relationships with rare subtlety, thanks to an excellent cast, and brilliant direction and editing. The movie is surely worthy of a Palme D’Or.

Film cast - The Past
Film cast – The Past. Photo-AFP

Another popular favourite is “A touch of Sin” by Jia Zhangke, a dramatic tale of 4 crimes, it describes without any concessions, the violence in modern-day China. It’s a satirical,vengeful examination of the decadence of Chinese society caught between the grip of culture vs. hedonistic capitalism. The script approach is very theatrical, according to ancestral Chinese theater.  It’s a very brave, provocative film inspired by real life stories revealing the vices of globalisation and individualistic pursuit instead of the collective one. Miraculously, it managed to avoid the censors in China.

“Young and beautiful” by François Ozon, a story of a young adolescent coming-of-age, and yet another violent sensationalism in “Heli” by Amat Escalante, but failed to capture the audience’s attention.

Marine Vacth, Géraldine Pailhas and François Ozon - Photocall - Young and beautiful
Marine Vacth, Géraldine Pailhas and François Ozon – Young and beautiful. Photo-AFP

The Cannes Film Festival is not only about the films in competition, the “Camera d’or” is a blessing for the lucky winner

Besides the 20 movies that are officially selected as the contenders for the coveted Palm d’Or, there are a few that are chosen for the Camera d’Or. The categories are Un Certain regard (A certain look), which will be screening 6 movies, La quinzaine des réalisateurs (Directors’ fortnight), will screen 9 movies and La semaine de la critique, (The critic’s week), will screen another 6 movies. There will be additional special screenings, which may yet reveal some treasured cinematic finds.

There are 26 films that are competing for the Camera d’Or, which is a coveted prize for newcomers. For instance Steve McQueen, won the Camera d’Or in 2008 with Hunger and the Mexican, and Michel Franco won last year, with Despues De Lucia.The Camera d’Or is a wonderful platform for new directors to be noticed by the big names in the global film industry

The list of the films competing for the Camera d’Or


  1. Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler (Already screened, is a very good film, actor Michael Jordan is excellent)
  2. Tore Tantz (Nothing Bad can happen) by Katrin Gebbe
  3. Miele by Valeria Golino (Already screened, is a very good film, the topic is fairly tackled although it is not easy to shoot about euthanasia)
  4. Bends by Flora Lau
  5. La Jaula de Oro by Diego Quemada Diez
  6. Sarah préfère la course (Sarah prefers to run) by Chloé Robichaud


  1. L’escale by Kaveh Bakhtiari
  2. Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen
  3. After the night by Basile Da Cunha
  4. Les Apaches by Thierry Peretti
  5. Les garcons et Guyillaume à Table by Guillaume Gallienne
  6. Jodorowsky’s dune by Franck Pavich
  7. La fille du 14 juillet by Antonin Peretjatko
  8. The last days on Mars by Ruairi Robinson
  9. El Verano De Los Peces by Marceal Said


  1. The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra
  2. Salvo by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza
  3. Nos héros sont morts ce soir by David Perrault
  4. Los Duenos by Augustin Toscano and Ezequiel Radusky
  5. For those in peril by Paul Wright


  1. Les rencontres d’après minuit by Yann Gonzales
  2. Shepard and Dark by Treva Wurmfeld
  3. Né quelque part (Homeland) by Mohamed Hamidi
  4. Moonsoon Shootout by Amit Kumar

Reporting for Arabian Gazette from Cannes, is our Special Correspondent — Rahma Rachdi

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