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France Cannes 2019 film Prize

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Cannes jury gets youthful boost from US actress Elle Fanning

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US actress Elle Fanning, joins seven other members of the Jury under president Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritù to select the Golden Palm winner in 209 Chris Delmas/AFP

The jury for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival under this year's president, Mexican film director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, includes four women and four men, nearly all of them wearing more than one film-career cap. The youngest is only 21. The jury will choose their award-winners and their top prize, the Golden Palm on 25 May. Nineteen films are competing for the award this year, including many regulars such as Ken Loach, the Dardenne brothers and Xavier Dolan, Jim Jarmusch and also, Céline Sciamma, Jessica Hausner and Diao Yinan.


US actress Elle Fanning turned 21 in early April and is the youngest juror ever at Cannes, beating Canadian director Xavier Dolan who was 25 when he sat on the illustrious jury in 2015. She has already become one of the eagerly-awaited red-carpet faces. Born in the US state of Georgia, she has acted in over 30 films, and has a couple more in the post-production phase.

At the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, Fanning appeared in two films: Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled and John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties. In 2016, she appeared in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Neon Demon.

The Cannes Connection

120 Beats per Minute which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2017 made French director, screenwriter and editor Robin Campillo famous around the world. In 2008, The Class,  which Campillo co-wrote with the film's director, Laurent Cantet, walked away with the Golden Palm.

US independent film maker, writer and editor Kelly Reichardt became known at Cannes with her film, Wendy and Lucy in 2008. Her 2013 work Night Moves about environmental protection militants, features Elle Fanning’s elder sister, Dakota.

Yorgos Lanthimos, a stage and screen director as well as a writer and producer, hails from Greece and has had huge success in English. In the past five years his mythological and cruel tales have earned him serious attention. The Lobster won Cannes’Jury Prize in 2015 and The Killing of a Sacred Deer won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 2017. Kyondontas (Dogtooth) won the Un Certain Regard award in 2009. More recently, The Favourite (2018), starring Olivia Colman, won several Bafta awards including Outstanding British Film of the Year.

Alice Rohrwacher, one of Italy’s now-established independent directors, has become a regular at Cannes since her 2011 debut feature Corpo Celeste ran for the Golden Camera award. Le Meraviglie (The Wonders) won the Jury Grand Prize in 2014, and she was back last year with Lazzaro Felice (Happy as Lazzaro) which won Best Screenplay.

From winner to judge, Cold War director Pawel Pawlikowski, received his Best Director prize at Cannes from US actress and 2018 jury member Kristen Stewart. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Another returnee from just last year but this time as a jury member, is Polish director Pavel Pawlikowski. He won the Cannes Best Director prize in 2019 for his black and white love story, Cold War, with its defining music score. His previous features include the emotionally astonishing Ida (2013) and My Summer of Love starring Emily Blunt in 2004.

Maimouna N’Diaye is a Franco-West African, stage and screen actress. She won the Best Actress award at the Pan-African Fespaco Film Festival in 2015 for her role in Sekou Traoré’s film called The Eye of the Cyclone.

Director Sékou Traoré (R) and actress Maimouna Ndiaye (L) at Fespaco in 2015 along with the crew of Golden Stallion award winning Eye of the Cyclone Siegfried Forster / RFI

Enki Bilal is one of France’s most lauded adult comic-book authors and illustrators as well as a film director. He has made three feature films, Bunker Palace Hotel (1989), Tykho Moon (1996), Immortal (2004). Immortal was an adaptation of one of his books.