What to expect at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Sunshine, yacht parties and five-star dining on the beach – the Cannes Film Festival is almost here, so what and who should we expect to see this year?

For its 70th birthday, the Cannes Film Festival is full of surprises and promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Running from 17 to 28 May 2017, the most famous film festival in the world is celebrating with a series of firsts.

cannes film festival 2017

Cannes tunes in to TV

One of the biggest surprises is the festival’s decision to screen two television episodes – moving away from the usual cinema-only stance – from two legendary filmmakers and previous recipients of the Palme d’Or.

After 26 years a new series of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is returning to our TV screens and the first two episodes will be previewing at the festival, and Jane Campion’s second season of Top of the Lake will be shown in its entirety.

Despite Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s director, justifying the inclusion as Campion and Lynch are “filmmakers and friends of the Cannes Film Festival”, this new move could mean that television is celebrated here again in the future.

Virtual reality comes to Cannes

Frémaux also said that the Cannes Film Festival wants to “look to the future”, which explains why a virtual reality film is being featured for the first time this year. Four-time Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu’s cutting-edge short film CARNE y ARENA (Flesh and Sand) has made the Official Selection after four years of development for this new medium.

The formal description of the project says that “CARNE y ARENA employs the highest, never-before-used virtual technology to create a large, multi-narrative light space with human characters.”

As with many of this year’s selected films, it explores the experiences of immigrants and refugees and puts them in to the spotlight for all to see.

Vanessa Redgrave directs her first film

Making her directorial debut this year, Vanessa Redgrave also deals with the refugee crisis in her film Sea Sorrow, which stars Emma Thompson and Ralph Fiennes. “I just felt I must,” she explained to the Guardian.

A long-standing human rights activist, as well as one of the world’s most famous actresses, she has made the film in reaction to the “extremely distasteful” and “frightening” attitudes towards those fleeing war zones and seeking refuge in Europe.

Netflix makes the grade

Films from online streaming platform Netflix will be featured for the first time in this year’s competition: The Meyerowitz Stories, which stars Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson; and Okja, from director Bong Joon-ho.

Best known for movie Snowpiercer (although his film Mother competed in the Un Certain Regard competition at the festival in 2009), this $50 million movie stars Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Critics will be watching closely to see if Netflix impresses with its fiction films after competitor Amazon Studios scored big at the Oscars with Manchester by the Sea in 2016.

Star-studded red carpet

Despite this year’s festival venturing into new territory, some things never change and this year the red carpet is expected to be buzzing with the most famous stars in the world.

In addition to those already mentioned, other A-listers expected to attend the festival include Nicole Kidman, who is in four films screening in Cannes this year, including The Beguiled. Directed by Sofia Coppola, she is starring alongside Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell.

Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg will be headlining in the opening film Ismael’s Ghosts, from one of France’s most treasured directors Arnaud Desplechin. Having won the César (the French equivalent of an Oscar) for Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse last year, his new film is highly anticipated, especially as he’s now directed five films that have had their world premieres in competition in Cannes.

Joaquin Phoenix is also returning to the screen in the eagerly-awaited You Were Never Really Here, which is directed by Lynne Ramsay in her first film since We Need to Talk About Kevin, in 2011.

If you are looking to buy property in Cannes, visit www.home-hunts.com, but to find out more about the best places to live in Cannes and the Riviera’s real estate market, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.



Compare listings