This year’s Cannes Festival selection will be revealed during a press conference given in Paris on April 16th. At this time about a third of the contending films have been identified, according to the festival’s general delegate (and programmer) Thierry Frémaux. A whopping 1,800 films have been submitted this year.
“Everything happens in the next two weeks,” Frémaux told the French National Assembly’s Committee on Cultural Affairs on Wednesday here in Paris. Frémaux was accompanied by the festival’s new president Pierre Lescure who replaces long-time president Gilles Jacob.
“Anyone on earth who’s made a film on earth can submit it to the festival,” Frémaux said.
Twenty films from around the world will be chosen in total for the competition series, with more or less the same number of films in the non-competition program.
Lescure, on the other hand, stressed the need to ensure that the event maintain its “specificities,” adding that “the Cannes film Festival has a desire to cultivate quality and diversity between having name directors and newcomers. The Cannes Festival has to keep this in order to stay alive.”
In the Cannes Festival’s hierarchy the festival’s president has traditionally had an ambassador-like purview on matters big, he’s the ultimate arbiter of protocol and would, among others, keep the festival’s relationship to France’s government healthy. Frémaux is the real power-broker, however, as he holds in his hands the fate of countless filmmakers, distributors and producers and entire industries that depend on them.
Yesterday Frémaux also announced that selfies would be banned from the red carpet this year. “These horrible selfies cause great disruption,” the festival’s general delegate commented, alluding to the clogged foot traffic every night on the red carpet ever since selfies became the norm. The Lumière Theatre, where all the competition premieres take place, seats 2,200. If everyone was going to shoot a selfie before going inside the theater, well, that’s a lot of traffic jams. So Frémaux’s right. Although I’m not sure how he’ll enforce this particular rule.