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Monday, 21 October 2019

Cannes 2019: A most feminine edition

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival takes place between 14 and 25 May, offering perhaps one of the most women-centred editions ever of the festival

Yasser Moheb from Cannes, Thursday 23 May 2019
Céline Sciamma, Mati Diop
Céline Sciamma [L] and Mati Diop [R]
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After three women were in the running for the Palme d'Or last year, and an edition marked by the rise of 82 women in the 7th Art, as part of the #MeToo movement against women's discrimination and abuse against actresses, the 72nd competition of the Cannes Film Festival 2019 may be — according to festival directors — the most feminine of the festival's history.

Thirteen women, in total, will be present in the entire selection, composed of 50 films. From the 13, four women are in competition, seven in the "Un certain regard" section, and two in Special Sessions.

On the competition side, two French women will be in the running for the Palme d'Or against 23 directors or co-directors. Céline Sciamma — noted in 2007 for The Birth of Octopuses —- is selected this year with Portrait of the Girl on Fire, interpreted by Adèle Haenel. Justine Triet, for her part, finds her actress Virginie Efira in Sibyl, three years after their great success with Victoria.

Other female directors in competition include Mati Diop, niece of the Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Manbety, who presented his first fiction film Atlantic, a story about the trials and everyday life of migrants. A fourth woman will also be competing, Austrian Jessica Hausner, present with her work Little Joe, discussing the theme of genetic transformations.

The section Un certain regard gives this year a focus to first films, many notably made by women.

Among the highlights are Canada's Monia Chokri with her film The Woman of My Brother, American Danielle Lessovitz with Port Authority, and her compatriot Annie Silverstein with Bull.

The two French Zabou Bretman and Eléa Gobbé Mévellec compete this year on the Croisette, co-signing the animated film The Swallows of Kabul, after the eponymous novel by Yasmina Khadra.

As for the Algerian Mounia Medour, she takes her place in this year's race with Papicha, with her compatriot Maryam Touzani announced in competition with Adam.

Stallone, back to the Croisette

American star Sylvester Stallone is back on the Croisette, as on screens, to present Rambo V: Last Blood, shot a few months ago. He will present an exclusive few images on Friday, 24 May, on the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière in Cannes.

The top star of Hollywood action films takes up again the mantle of John Rambo, one of the most famous characters of world cinema, and which inspired much commentary and offshoots.

Written by Matthew Cirulnik and Sylvester Stallone himself, from characters created by David Morell, Rambo V: Last Blood is directed by Adrian Grunberg, and brings together Stallone and a variety of stars, including Paz Vega and Oscar Jaenada.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone

An honorary palm for a legend

Despite the controversy, Alain Delon received a Palme d'honneur from the hand of his daughter Anouchka. And he did not manage to hold back his tears. During a master class, he began to cry while seeing the face of Annie Girardot, and then seeing the dog he owned in one of the scenes of "Cheetah." Delon was on edge.

Holding the precious trophy in his hands, again the emotion whelled up in his eyes. "It's been a long time since I've been so pissed off," said the 83-year-old actor, his face red, receiving the award from his daughter to thunderous applause.

Earlier, he had explained why he finally accepted the honorary award he had always refused.

"I wanted the awards to go to the directors who directed me as great conductors. It is to them that the honours must return. Without them I would not be here. But Thierry Frémaux pointed out to me that they were all dead ... So, this price, I will take it for them."

He added: "Tonight is a bit of a posthumous tribute, but in my lifetime."

"I will leave, but I will not leave without thanking you."

Egyptian director Nada Ryadh
Egyptian director Nada Ryadh

Lebanese director Nadine Labaki
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki

Algerian director Mounia Medour
Algerian director Mounia Medour

Syrian director Waad Al-Kateab
Syrian director Waad Al-Kateab

Moroccan director Maryam Touzani
Moroccan director Maryam Touzani

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