The 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will have an array of world celebrities on its top Competition jury, headed by the New Zealand director,
, who in 1993 won the Palm d’Or for The Piano.
The other eight members of the jury will be luminaries from countries as varied as China, Korea, Denmark, Iran, France, Mexico and the US.
One of the most interesting jurors will be Leila Hatami, that wonderful Iranian actress who stole hearts in Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation (2011) – as the woman tormented by a bad marriage. She began her acting career in movies her father, Ali Hatami, helmed, and later starred in the 1998 Leila by Dariush Mehrjui. Hatami will be part of what I call the
French star Carole Bouquet will be another beautiful addition to the jury. Although, she debuted with no less a giant than Luis Bunuel (That Obscure Object of Desire in 1977), her slate included films like the 1981 For Your Eyes Only – as the titillating Bond girl. Bouquet has also worked with other arthouse auteurs, such as Danis Tanovic and Andre Techine.
America’s contribution to the jury will be Sofia Coppola (apart from Willem Dafoe), who’s first directorial venture, The Virgin Suicides, was part of the Directors Fortnight at Cannes in 1999. We in India know her best as the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather) and the creator of Lost in Translation (2003), which clinched an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Her Somewhere won the Golden Lion at Venice, and her The Bling Ring, which opened A Certain Regard at Cannes last year, is a gripping tale of rich teenagers who are so obsessed with the goodies celebrities use that they steal them.
Actress Jeon Do-yeon will arrive from South Korea to help Campion and the others pick the Palms. She was the first Korean woman to receive the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her role in Secret Sunshine (2007).
Willem Dafoe is an American actor who was twice nominated for an Academy Award – Oliver Stone’s Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire. Dafoe has been seen in as many as 80 movies, including Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson, Light Sleeper by Paul Schrader, The Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorsese, Antichrist by Lars von Trier and The English Patient by Anthony Minghella.
The Mexican actor/helmer, Gael Garcia Bernal, came into public view in Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, followed by Y Tu Mamá También by Alfonso Cuaron. He then featured in films directed by some of the greats of international cinema, such as The Motorcycle Diaries by Walter Salles, Pedro Almodovar’s Bad Education, The Science of Sleep by Michel Gondry, Babel by Gonzalez Iñárritu, and The Limits of Control by Jim Jarmusch. In 2010, after a few shorts, he directed his first feature, Deficit.
Nicolas Winding Refn, director, screenwriter and producer from Denmark, made his first movie, Pusher (1996), when he was just 24. His 2011 Drive won the Best Direction Palm, and his latest work, Only God Forgives, featured in Cannes Competition in 2013.
China’s Jia Zhangke (director, screenwriter) presented 24 City also at Cannes Competition in 2008, and last year, his A Touch of Sin walked away with the Best Screenplay Award.
The Festival runs from May 14 to 25.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will cover the Cannes Film Festival for Hindustan Times, and he may be e-mailed at