Highlights of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

Are you a movie buff?* If so, you might be excited for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival! The international film festival, which is currently taking place in the French Riviera, is known as the best place to learn about the most exciting new movies from around the world.

If you are not familiar with Cannes, check out our article about this international film festival and its history before learning about this year’s celebration.

*movie buff = a person who likes movies

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70th Anniversary
This year is the 70th anniversary of the festival. The Jury for the main competition includes American actors Jessica Chastain and Will Smith, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, French-Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared, and film directors Paolo Sorrentino (Italian), Maren Ade (German), Agnes Jaoui (French), and Park Chan-wook (South Korean). The Jury President is Spanish director and screenwriter Pedro Almodovar. The Jury will award films in many categories: check out our previous article for information regarding these main awards.


Monica Belluci

A few other important names and faces of 2017 Cannes include Italian actress Monica Bellucci, who will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies. The film Ismael’s Ghosts by Arnaud Desplechin was chosen as the film to open the festival and a beautiful photo of Italian actress Claudia Cardinale was chosen as the film’s official poster.

Golden Palm films
The most prestigious award for Cannes is the Golden Palm. The following films are competing for the award. Have you heard of any of them? Film lovers should check these works out: they are considered some of the best new movies of the year.

  • In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) directed by Fatih Akin (Germany)
  • The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) directed by Noah Baumbach (USA)
  • Okja directed by Bong Joon-ho (South Korea and USA)
  • 120 Beats per Minute (120 battlements par minute) directed by Robin Campillo (France)
  • The Beguiled directed by Sofia Coppola (USA)
  • Rodin directed by Jacques Doillon (France, Belgium)
  • Happy End directed by Michael Haneke (France, Germany, Austria)
  • Wonderstruck directed by Todd Haynes (USA)
  • Redoubtable (Le Redoutable) directed by Michel Hazanavicius (France)
  • The Day After directed by Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)
  • Radiance directed by Naomi Kawase (Japan, France)
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Ireland, UK, USA)
  • A Gentle Creature directed by Sergei Loznitsa (Ukraine, France)
  • Jupiter’s Moon (Jupiter holdja) directed by Kornel Mundrczo (Hungary)
  • The Square directed by Ruben Ostlund (Sweden, Denmark, USA, France)
  • L’Amant Double directed by Francois Ozon (France)
  • You Were Never Really Here directed by Lynne Ramsay (UK, USA, France)
  • Good Time directed by Joshua and Ben Safdie (USA)
  • Loveless directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)

To learn more, visit the official Cannes Film Festival website.

Have you heard of any of these directors or movies? Do you think the jury and the films reflect the diversity of filmmaking? Give us your thoughts on the Ziggurat Facebook page!

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality

Cannes Film Festival

May is the time when the weather warms, the beaches become filled with people, and celebrities from around the world gather in the French Riviera. Why? It’s Cannes!

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What is Cannes?
“Cannes” is another name for the Cannes Film Festival. Until 2002, it was called the “International Film Festival.” The festival is in Cannes, France, each year in May (this year from May 17-28). The 2017 Cannes is special: this will be the festival’s 70th year.

Cannes is not like events such as the Academy Awards (also called the Oscars), which are only awards shows. Cannes is where new films from all over the world are previewed, and it provides great opportunities for European film makers: because many film producers and celebrities attend, the festival is an excellent place for filmmakers to sell their films. People attend Cannes by invitation only.

Cannes Jury
Cannes awards are chosen by the Cannes jury (the group of people who vote). Each year, these jury members, who are all people in the international film industry, are chosen by the Cannes board of directors. The board also chooses a jury president. For 2017, the president is Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar.

Cannes Awards
Cannes gives many awards at its competition. The names of the awards are in French; below we are also giving including an English translation of the names.


The main awards of the festival are the following:

  • Palme d’Or (Golden Palm). This award is for the best film of the year. The film is selected from 20 films.
  • Grand Prix (Grand Prize). This award is similar to “Second Place” for the festival’s films.
  • Prix du Jury (Jury Prize). This award is considered to be “Third Prize” at the festival.
  • Palme d’Or du court métrage (Best Short Film). This is the award for the best film in the category of short film.
  • Prix d’interprétation féminine (Best Actress)
  • Prix d’interprétation masculine (Best Actor)
  • Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director)
  • Prix du scenario (Best Screenplay)

There are other awards and categories, such as awards for student filmmakers, recognition for films about the environment, and a category for documentaries. One of the funniest is the award for the best performance… by a dog! Yes, a dog. The Palm Dog award is for the dog that “acted” the best in a movie.

Compared to shows such as the Oscars, many consider Cannes to be more “serious” festival that is an opportunity to learn about more artistic films.

What do you think? Have you seen some of the Golden Palm winners from previous years? Check out the list of previous winners and see.

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality