Cannes Film Festival: a predominantly female jury will award the 2021 Palme d’Or

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Mati Diop, Mylène Farmer, Maggie Gyllenhall, Jessica Hausner, Mélanie Laurent, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Tahar Rahim, Song Kang-Ho. By selecting five women and three men for the prestigious feature film jury, the Cannes Film Festival has even exceeded parity. Around President Spike Lee, this team of directors, authors, actors and screenwriters, from five continents, will award on May 17 the Palme d’Or for the largest film festival in the world.

From 24 feature films in the running for the Palme d’Or, there are only four directors. The composition of the jury, announced this Thursday, June 24, therefore resembles a catch-up to satisfy the expectations of the collective 50/50 whose charter the Cannes Film Festival signed a few years ago.

Among the jurors, there are many very well-known names in Cannes. The Senegalese director Mati Diop became in 2019 with Atlantic the first female filmmaker of African origin to win the Grand Prix of the Festival. A year when two African films are in the running for the Palme d’Or – that of the Chadian Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and that of the Moroccan Nabil Ayouch -, Diop’s participation in the jury is all the more emblematic. So far, the Algerian Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina is the only one to have succeeded in winning in 1975 the highest distinction with Chronicle of the years of embers.

If we no longer present Mylène Farmer, the singer with 35 million records sold, her passion for cinema and her link with filmmakers are less well known. However, to make her music videos, she worked with the greatest masters of the image, such as Luc Besson, Peter Lindbergh, Abel Ferrara or Dominique Issermann.

Less famous in France, and yet several times nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes, actress, producer, screenwriter and director Maggie Gyllenhall will also be part of the jury. She became world famous with her interpretation of The dark knight by Christopher Nolan in 2008. She is currently working on her first film, The Lost Daughter.

Austrian director Jessica hausner told us in 2019 that she loves horror movies, to be a workaholic and want to control everything. A bit like the main character in his movie Litte joe, the story of a seasoned and unscrupulous plant breeder, whose lead actress Emily Beecham won the Palme d’Or for her magnificent performance. But Hausner had also presented two other feature films at Cannes, Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004).

French actress Melanie Laurent started his career in Hollywood with Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino, selected in competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Since then, she has played prestigious roles in films by Mike Mills, Denis Villeneuve and Angelina Jolie. Mélanie Laurent is also known for her documentary tomorrow (2015) and its commitment to the environment, one of the great causes displayed at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho presented in 2019 with Juliano Dornelles Bacurau, a cinematographic work as political as it is violent. The only Latin American film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, it won the Jury Prize. The former programmer and film critic is also artistic director of the Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife. He broke into the world of cinema in 2012, with The Sounds of Recife, who had represented his country at the Oscars.

Tahar Rahim has a long history with the Cannes Film Festival. Revealed in 2009 with a prophet by Jacques Audiard (Grand Prix of the Festival de Cannes), the actor was awarded the César for best male hope and best actor. He also shone in The past by Asghar Farhadi and Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski. And he particularly amazed us in Players by Marie Monge, arguably the most addicting film of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

South Korean actor Song kang-ho has appeared in dozens of films, some of which have become cult like Memories of Murder in 2003, Snowpiercer, the Transperceneige in 2013 and of course Parasite, the Palme d’Or of 2019 which won four Oscars and turned into a global success in theaters. This devotee of director Bong Joon-ho’s masterpieces has certainly helped to open a new page in the history of Korean cinema. For the New York Times, it is part of ” 25 best actors of the 21st century “. Song Kang-ho just finished filming Broker, by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, also a regular at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Cannes Film Festival: a predominantly female jury will award the 2021 Palme d’Or

Hank Gilbert