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Olé! Spanish-language films lead in Cannes Directors' Fortnight
The main parallel film programme at Cannes in May, the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) has announced a line-up that is strong on the Spanish language. Six films out of the 20 features are either filmed in Latin America or in Spain.
Both the Cannes Film Festival and the Directors' Fortnight are opening in Spanish.
On 9 May Birds of Passage, by Colombian pair Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego, kicks off .
Edouard Waintrop, the outgoing artistic director of the programme, has chosen William Klein's 1960s New York photo of a young girl about to hit a baseball with a group of boys sitting behind her for the joyful 2018 poster.
It is a tribute to Klein, to New York and to womenpower, he explains.
This parallel programme at Cannes was born in 1969 out of a revolt by some filmmakers, including Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Lelouche, who boycotted the 1968 official festival in support of striking or demonstrating students and workers across France and elsewhere in Europe.
Waintrop says Cannes perhaps like baseball will be around for years to come.
The films in Spanish include Petra from Catalan director Jaime Rosales - "an extremely cruel film" but "his most beautiful so far", according to Waintrop.
There are also Carmen y Lola from Basque-origin director Arantxa Echevarria and four from Latin America, inlcuding Los silencos (Silences) from Brazilian Beatriz Seigner, a border film between Colombia and Brazil mainly.
As always, Waintrop says, there is more than one reason for picking the opening film - Colombia's Birds of Passage this year.
"It's one of the best films I've seen this year," he said. "I actually don't understand why it's not in the main [official] competition but I'm also very happy because we have it!"
The only two English-language films in the line-up this year had their maiden screenings at January's Sundance festival in the US.
Canadian Panos Cosmatos' Mandy stars Nicolas Cage.
Leave no Trace is directed by Debra Granik, whose 2010 Winter's Bone gave US megastar Jennifer Lawrence her first big break.
A documentary stands out in this very early stage of proceedings for being the only example of the genre - Samouni Road from Italian Stefano Savona, a film shot in Gaza.
"It's the story of a family which was destroyed by the Israelis," Waintrop says. "But they show also that the Palestinian side is completely corrupted, divided and nobody is believing anymore in politics because the politicians are rotten.
"Also you have a hero, an Israeli who stopped the butchery. It's not completely one-sided but that's terrible what the Israelis are doing in Gaza. You have the tragedy seen by a simple family in Gaza and its powerful and very moving."
There are two films from Asia - one a tribute to animation, Mirai by Mamoru Hosoda from Japan, the other, Ming wang xing shi ke from Chinese director Ming Zhang whose English title is The Pluto Moment.
What would the Quinzaine des Réalisteurs be without French contestants?
There are five this year, including Gaspar Noé, a Cannes regular. His film is called Climax and, according to Waintrop, it speaks for itself.
Another Cannes regular, Guillaume Nicloux with Les Confins du Monde a war film set in Vietnam that Waintrop says is "like Apocalypse Now without Francis Ford Coppola's budget". Also Amin, from Philippe Faucon, a Mauritanian migrant's story, Marie Monge's Treat me Like Fire descibed as a film about love and addiction, starring Tahar Rahim. Monge's entry is, unusually this year, one of the rare first-time features.
The Director' Fortnight each year since 2002 has crowned a life-time of film achievement. This year the Carrosse d'Or award, the Golden Carriage, will go to American director Martin Scorcese whose film Mean Streets won him fame in Cannes when it was first shown at the Director's Fortnight in 1973.
The applause at today's press conference was not for Scorcese (yet) but for Waintrop, whose seven years at the helm of the Director's Fortnight come to an end this year. The 51st Directors' Fortnight programme will be in the hands, and the eyes, of Paolo Moretti.
Feature films in competition (Grand Prix Nespresso)
- Amin by Philippe Faucon
- Carmen y Lola (Carmen and Lola) by Arantxa Echevarria
- Climax by Gaspar Noé
- Cómprame un revólver (Buy Me a Gun) by Julio Hernández Cordón
- Les Confins du monde (The Edge of the World) by Guillaume Nicloux
- El motoarrebatador (The Snatch Thief) by Agustín Toscano
- En Liberté ! by Pierre Salvadori
- Joueurs (Treat Me Like Fire) by Marie Monge
- Leave No Trace by Debra Granik
- Los silencios by Beatriz Seigner
- Ming wang xing shi ke (The Pluto Moment)by Ming Zhang
- Mandy by Panos Cosmatos
- Mirai (Mirai ma petite soeur) by Mamoru Hosoda
- Le monde est à toi (unofficially The World is Yours) by Romain Gavras
- Pájaros de verano (Birds of Passage) by Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego - Opening film
- Petra by Jaime Rosales
- Samouni Road by Stefano Savona - documentary
- Teret (The Load) by Ognjen Glavonic
- Troppa grazia by Gianni Zanasi - Closing film
- Weldi (Dear Son) by Mohamed Ben Attia
- Basses (Bass') by Félix Imbert
- Ce magnifique gâteau ! (This Magnificient Cake!) by Emma De Swaef and Marc Roels
- La Chanson (The Song) by Tiphaine Raffier
- La lotta by Marco Bellocchio
- Las cruces (The Crosses unofficial translation) Nicolas Boone
- La Nuit des sacs plastiques (The Night of the Plastic Bags) by Gabriel Harel
- O órfão (The Orphan) by Carolina Markowicz
- Our Song to War by Juanita Onzaga
- Skip Day by Patrick Bresnan and Ivette Lucas
- Le Sujet (The Subject) by Patrick Bouchard