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Film Fest Preview: 64th Festival de Cannes’ Competition Films

The South of France-set 64th Festival de Cannes, and its companion, Marché du Film (film market), runs from May 11 to 22. This oceanfront film industry extravaganza is more than glamorous red carpet events and parties, with even more glamorous entertainment celebrities. It is also serious, art-of-the-deal business making for independent films from all across the globe. Producers congregate here to look for buyers for finished productions, while seeking investors for new projects.

This year, Woody Allen’s romantic comedy-slash-fantasy, Midnight In Paris, opens the festival on the evening on May 11th. By invitation only, actors, directors, industry executives and badge-holding cinephiles will attend the film’s premiere gala screening, after a walk down the magical scarlet runner, and up the steps into the majestic Grand Théâtre Lumière.

Midnight In Paris is a romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital on business. Gil (Owen Wilson) separates from the group, and discovers a secret world that comes alive after midnight in Paris. Stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Martin Sheen Adrien Brody, Katy Bates and Carla Bruni.

Although premiering at Cannes, Midnight In Paris is screening “out of competition” as it opens in US theaters on May 20th.

As President of the Jury, Robert De Niro (actor, director, producer and co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival), will head the Feature Films jury, which also includes director Olivier Assayas, and actors Uma Thurman and Jude Law.

The official selection of films in competition are La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In), L’Apollonide, Pater, Hearat Shulayim (Footnote), Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da, Le Gamin Au Velo (The Kid With The Bike), La Havre, Hanezu No Tsuki, Sleeping Beauty, Polisse, The Tree Of Life, La Source Des Femmes, Ichimei, Habemus Papam, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Michael, This Must Be The Place, Melancholia, Drive and The Artist.

Sleeping Beauty (Australia), by Julia Leigh, and Michael (Austria), by Markus Schleinzer, are the director’s first films.

Festival de Cannes’ Competition Film Highlights

La Piel Que Habito, (Spain / Drama) – Pedro Almodóvar’s La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In), is based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel Mygale. This tale of revenge involves a plastic surgeon on the hunt for the men who raped his daughter. Stars Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya and Marisa Parades.

The Tree Of Life, (USA / Drama) – Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life centers around a Midwestern family with three boys in the 1950s. Now an adult, the eldest son Jack O’Brien (Sean Penn), after the death of his younger brother, recalls his childhood. Stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

Sleeping Beauty, (Australia / Drama) – Julia Leigh’s directorial debut, Sleeping Beauty, is a haunting erotic fairytale about Lucy (Emily Browning), a young, beautiful and unusually passive University student who’s drawn into a mysterious hidden world of desire. She answers an advertisement for a lingerie waitress, but, is secretly auditioned for the role of a sex club’s real-life Sleeping Beauty. Stars Emily Browning, Rachael Blake and Ewen Leslie.

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