The 2015 Cannes Film Festival has just begun. Although there is a lot of publicity about the films and directors at Cannes, much less is said about the cinematographers.
As a start, this post lists some of the films that will be screened in the next 11 days, and identifies some of cinematographers involved. There are, of course, many more...
Actress Ingrid Bergman on the poster for the 2015 Cannes film festival
The Cannes Film Festival hosts a number of competitions:
Chosen by the genial festival director, Thierry Frémeaux, and his staff:
Official Competition - This is the main event: 19 films will compete this year for the Palme d'Or, which will be awarded by a jury headed by the Coen brothers.
Un Certain Regard (UCR) - (A Certain Gaze) - For upcoming directors, this sidebar is often a stepping stone to future Official Competitions. UCR features another 19 films.
Out of Competition & Special Screenings - These screenings are for established filmmakers who aren't (or don't want to be) in the Official Competition, and upcoming filmmakers who almost made the cut.
There are 3 Cannes sections not organized by the festival: Director's Fortnight, Critics' Week and ACID. These events feature indie filmmakers from around the world.
3 other awards worth noting are:
The Camera d'Or (Golden Camera), given by a separate jury to the best first-time feature director in any of the sections.
The Vulcan Award for best technical artist, given by a jury appointed by the French CST (Technical Commission). It has has been awarded to cinematographers, sound mixers, editors and visual-effects artists.
Angenieux ExcelLens Award is a recent prize for leading cinematographers. This year's award will go to the great Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC. I shall return to ExcelLens in a future post.
The lower floors of the Festival Palace host a huge Film Market, where producers and distributors sell a wide range of movies to international buyers. The Film Market has its own screenings.
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The last column is the film's country of origin. This year is an exceptionally strong year for France at Cannes. The 19 films in the Main Selection include 5 from France, 3 from US, 3 from Italy, 2 from China, 1 each from Greece, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway and the UK.
The Official Competition includes 3 ASC members: Roger Deakins, Ed Lachman and Peter Suschitzky -- all master cinematographers.
Peter is also on the Critic's Week jury.
For the first time ever, the Official Competition also includes 3 women cinematographers, all French: Céline Bozon, Claire Mathon and Eponine Momenceau. Two of them have come to the festival with a woman director.
My experience is that there is a higher proportion of working women cinematographers and women directors in France than in any other country, and the festival bears this out. Emmanuelle Bercot, the director of Cannes' opening film Tête Haute, said as much in her press conference yesterday.
Other noteworthy cinematographers include:
Adam Arkapaw, who shot the bleak and stylish True Detective series.
Ping Bin Lee, the master Taiwanese cinematographer who recently shot the beautiful, painterly French film Renoir, nominated for an ASC Spotlight Award.
Mátyás Erdély, who shot the disquieting & elegant Miss Bala
Luca Bigazzi, who shot the lush spectacles of La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty).
selected other screenings
One of my main motivations for going to Cannes is to discover new filmmakers from around the world. And I hope to return with a new list of directors and cinematographers to share.
In the meantime, below is a rough sketch of a list featuring some directors and/or cinematographers I already know and respect, who are offering their latest work in Cannes outside the Official Competition. The list could have been much longer, but, for space reasons, I limited myself to 19 films:
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There are 3 ASC members in the list: Darius Khondji, John Seale and Luciano Tovoli. All master cinematographers.
There are 4 women above: Claire Mathon (who also has a film in the Official Competition), Josée Deshaies, Irina Lubchanstky and Rachel Morrison.
The wonderfully innovative Benoît Debie shot Gaspar Noé's new sexual love story.
Lukasz Zal, nominated for an Oscar and winner of an ASC Spotlight Award for Ida, is here with a first feature from a Swedish director.
2 masters collaborate for the first time: Renato Berta shot Philippe Garrel's film in black & white 35mm.
Guillaume Schiffman, nominated for an Oscar for The Artist, shot Cannes' opening film, Head Held High by Emmmanuelle Bercot.
Mathieu Vadepied is a cinematographer — he shot Intouchables — who is presenting his first feature as a director.
My next posts will offer reports of the festival.
Meanwhile, don't hesitate to add other films and DPs worth seeing in the comments below !
Un Certain Regard (official sidebar)
Director's Fortnight - La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
International Critics Week - La Semaine de la Critique
Camera d'Or list - 26 directors with their first feature film at Cannes 2015
AFC website with coverage of Cannes
I thank Eric Guichard & my friends at the AFC for their help with these lists.