Cannes Festivals News

Cannes Film Festival Lineup 2009

Cannes 2009 logo

The official lineup for the 2009 Cannes Film Festival was announced today at a press conference in Paris.

The main talking point for some will be the lack of American filmmakers in competition for the Palme d’Or.

The festival runs from May 13th until 24th and here is the lineup in full. 


  • Up (U.S.A, Dir. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson)



  • Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (France, Dir. Jan Kounen)




  • Petition (China, Dir. Zhao Liang)
  • L’epine dans le coeur (France, Dir. Michel Gondry)
  • Min ye (France-Mali, Dir. Souleyumane Cisse)
  • Jaffa (Israel-France-Germany, Dir. Keren Yedaya)
  • Manila (Philippines, Dir. Adolfo Alix Jr. and Raya Martin)
  • My Neighbor, My Killer (U.S.A, Dir. Anne Aghion)




One little interesting note.

At the end of the press conference Cannes president Gilles Jacob said:

…the Festival de Cannes has decided to continue helping independent creators as best it can.

Since our new website has greater bandwidth, we would like to offer this platform to any of the films in the Official Selection that would like to make use of it, when comes the time of their theatre release.

The idea is to present to the audience, and especially young audiences, the first 5 minutes of the film and not the usual typical trailer that extinguishes all desire.

Was it Altman or Renoir, I forget, who said that the great artists are at their best in the first and last reel? Let’s hope that Internet users everywhere might drop their games and be tempted to rush to their nearest theatre to find out what happens next.

Let’s hope so, for the sake of the artists. We make no distinction between their films.

They are all there, somewhere, in the atmosphere that surrounds us all. They are all there and available, chemically, digitally, electronically, in binary, in VOD, virtually, we can feel them, they surround us. They are looking out for us.

Let’s not abandon them.

You can read the full speech here.

> Official site for the Cannes Film Festival
> IndieWIRE with a transcript of Cannes president Gillies Jacob at the launch press conference 
> Find out more about the festival at Wikipedia


Birds Eye View Film Festival 2009

This year’s Birds Eye View Film Festival has been announced and will run from March 5th until 13th at the BFI and ICA in London.

The festival celebrates international women filmmakers and is back for a fifth time.

This edition will take place over 9 days and will feature over 70 events with films from around the world.

There will also be an exclusive masterclass and retrospective from director Mary Harron (American PsychoThe Notorious Bettie Page), one-off live music events from cutting edge female artists, moving image innovation, fashion films, training workshops, parties and a good deal else besides.

Check out their official site at

Festivals London Film Festival

LFF 2008: Day 6

This morning I went to the press screening of Waltz With Bashir which is showing at the Centrepiece Gala on Friday.

It deals with the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre and the memory of the Israeli soldiers involved in the invasion of Lebanon in the early 1980s. 

Directed by Ari Folman, it examines his own experiences on that mission and the struggle to remember what happened when he interviews various army colleagues from the time.

The strange title is taken from a scene with one of Folman’s interviewees, who remembers taking a machine gun and dancing an ‘insane waltz’ amid enemy fire, with posters of Bashir Gemayel lining the walls behind him.

Gemayel was the Lebanese president who whose assassination helped trigger the massacre.  

The most unusual and startling aspect of the film is that it is animated, an unconventional approach for what is essentially a documentary.

Although very different in theme and tone to Creature Comforts it appears to adopt the same device in which real conversations are animated and stylised. 

A hugely ambitious film, it took four years to complete and is and international co-production between IsraelGermany and France.

Back in May it premiered to huge acclaim at Cannes and was one of the front runners to win the Palme d’Or

Much of that praise is richly deserved because this is an arresting and highly original film.

It deserves particular credit for taking a highly politicised and contentious event and yet somehow makes a wider point about the futility of war whose relevance is not just confined to the cauldron of the Middle East.

Another aspect which makes this story so intrguing is that the Israeli troops were not guilty of the massacre itself but of standing by and letting Lebanese miltia murder Palestinian refugees. 

It is the memory of, or rather the inability to remember, this event that lies at the core of the story. Has Folman unconsciously blocked out the memory? Does guilt cloud any rational perspective? 

The raw power of the source material is enhanced by some extraordinary imagery, with a remarkable and inventive use of colour for certain sections, especially those involving the sea.

Added to this is Folman’s narration which has an almost hypnotic effect when set alongside the visuals, almost as if the audience is experiencing a dream whilst watching the film itself. 

The film won 6 Israeli Film Academy awards (including Best Picture) and looks likely to be a strong contender for the Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

It might seem like a strange film to make about such a serious subject but it’s surreal approach only makes the horrors of war seem all too real. 

This is the trailer:


Waltz With Bashir screens at the festival on Friday and opens in the UK on Friday 21st November

> Official site
> Waltz With Bashir at the IMDb
> Reviews of the film from Cannes back in May

Festivals Interviews Podcast

Interview: Eliot Grove on The Raindance Film Festival 2008

Eliot Grove is the founder and director of The Raindance Film Festival, which is the UK’s largest independent film festival.

He founded it in 1993 and since then it has premiered films such as Pulp FictionThe Blair Witch ProjectCapturing the FriedmansMemento, and Oldboy.

The Raindance organisation also offers advice and support for independent filmmakers.

Although based in London they are open for anyone who might want to work with them in another city or country.

In addition, Eliot also helped start the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

The current Raindance festival is currently on in London until October 12th and I recently spoke with Eliot about what’s been happening this year.

You can listen to the interview here:


You can also download it as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

For the full Festival programme go to

Tickets can be booked online at their site or by telephone on 0871 200 2000 will host further exclusive material via with trailers and filmmaker interviews.

> Download this interview as an MP3
> Official Raindance site
> The British Independent Film Awards
> Join the Raindance Facebook group
> Eliot’s MySpace page

Festivals News

Venice Film Festival 2008 – Lineup Announced

The official lineup for the 65th Venice Film Festival has been announced.

Organised by the Venice Biennale, it will start on Wednesday 27th August and run until Friday 6th September.

Here are the films showing in and out of the official competition:



For the rest of the events and more details on the festival visit the official site.

> Official site of the 65th Venice Film Festival
> More on the festival lineup at Screen Daily
> Find out more about the history of the festival at Wikipedia

Cannes Festivals News

Cannes 2008 lineup announced

This year’s Cannes Film Festival lineup has been announced.

Destination Cannes

The films in official competition are:

The big films showing out of competition are:

Variety have a comprehensive list of all the films showing here.

> Official site for the festival
> A Guide to the Cannes film festival from last year