This evening, all eyes will be on the Palais des Festival on the Croisette in the famous Glittering City by the Mediterranean. American press have been asking questions of its relevancy but the cash continues to roll
Compared to last year (and perhaps previous years), there is a distinct lack of star power at this year’s Cannes Film Festival – the 71st edition of the world’s most important film festival, which runs from the 8th to the 19th of May.
For “star power”, read “American star power”. The decision to disregard films shown only in people’s homes by video-on-demand has rankled with many American production companies who see this as a slight on the growing sector in international cinema.
The other factor that has changed the course of America’s relationship with Cannes has been the fall of the Weinsteins. For all the alleged impropriety with regard to Harvey Weinstein’s bullying and inappropriate behaviour, the Weinsteins had impeccable taste in cinema and were very much the cheerleaders of non-American cinema in a world that has become increasingly dominated by the US film industry.
This year, we have juries that are largely dominated by women: Australian actress Cate Blanchett heads up the main jury, which is composed of four women and three men, the jury of the Caméra d’Or is also headed by a woman (Swiss director Ursula Meier) while the jury of Un Certain Regard is chaired by US actor Benicio del Toro and features three women and two men.
Aside from the star value, however, the festival continues to generate an increasing amount of revenue for the city and the region. During the festival, there are more 12,000 accredited professionals assembled, including producers, buyers, distributors and programmers, 85% of whom are foreigners. According to official figures from the Palais des Festivals, this gathering resulted in a spin-off for the city of more than €197 million during last year’s festival.
This figure includes direct cash into the festival itself, indirect spend from those attending the festival and induced spending that filters through to the wider economy (the snowball effect, or economic ripples from the big splash in Cannes).
The 2017 figures are up slightly on the previous year’s estimates (€196,100,000). According to Michel Chevillon, President of the Syndicat des Hôteliers de Cannes (Cannes hoteliers’ union), the 12 days of the Cannes Film Festival represents between 10% and 15% of the total annual revenue of certain establishments: “Outside of the purely hotel-related activity, the high-end hotel sector also has to provide restauration services – renting reception rooms, organising networking or cocktail receptions for companies, for example.”
There are some fears about what the impact will be of the various strikes being called in Air France and in the railway unions but according to Jérôme Paillard, Director of the Film Market for Cannes, “it shouldn’t have any effect on the film market… Professional people in the industry generally arrive beforehand, during the weekend that precedes the opening night. Moreover, they rarely stay on until the closing day.”
Jury of the 71st Festival de Cannes
Facing a renewed Competition which presents filmmakers who will compete for the first time, the Jury of the next edition of the Festival de Cannes (8-19 May 2018) invites 5 women, 4 men, 7 nationalities and 5 continents under the presidency of Cate Blanchett.
The Jury will reveal its prize list on Saturday, May 19 during the Closing Ceremony.
THE JURY 2018
- Cate Blanchett President
(Australian actress, producer)
- Chang Chen
- Ava DuVernay
(American writer, director, producer)
- Robert Guédiguian
(French director, writer, producer)
- Khadja Nin
(Burundian songwriter, composer, singer)
- Léa Seydoux
- Kristen Stewart
- Denis Villeneuve
(Canadian director, writer)
- Andrey Zvyagintsev
(Russian director, writer)