Cannes Director Thierry Fremaux Touts “Improvements” to Screening Schedule

Foc Kan/Getty Images
Thierry Fremaux

The festival’s artistic director also defended against criticism that American films are fleeing for Venice and Toronto to build awards buzz.

Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux is saying the festival will make some adjustments to the press and premiere screening schedule after some negative feedback earlier this year.

“We had some complaints and we are going to improve on that,” he said at the Marrakech Film Festival on Saturday, without specifying what those changes might be. Last May, the festival changed the screening schedule so that media was not able to see films before their world premieres. It was an effort to protect directors from possible bad press published early, but led to some stressed-out critics.

Once a prolific tweeter, Fremaux has taken himself off of social media, joking that Twitter thoughts “are what you would write on a public bathroom wall.”

Speaking in an on stage interview, Fremaux emphasized Cannes’ international pedigree and deflected criticism that the festival has failed to get blockbusters in recent years as filmmakers have flocked to the Venice and Toronto film festivals.

“America is not always the barometer of Cannes, the competition selection is diversified. Venice didn’t have the film of [Hirokazu] Kore-eda, didn’t have the film of Nadine Labaki. It is absolutely the mission of Cannes to have films from all over the world,” he said, citing the festival’s charter. “We have to undo this Europe and United States obsession.” Kore-eda’s Shoplifters went on to win the Palme d’Or, while Labaki’s Capernaum captured the second place Jury Prize.

“We have other criteria” outside of the awards season race, Fremaux added. The May festival has now been judged too early by many studios to build that all-important buzz, he argued. “We don’t care about the Oscars. The Oscars are great. I go every year. But Cannes is a different thing,” he said.

If the studios are bypassing Cannes, it’s because of, and not in spite of, the global media glare, he added. “Why? Because it generates buzz and media coverage. That’s the issue with the studios. They don’t send the big studio films because they will be judged within the media circus and it’s not objective,” he said.

But “popular” films still have a place on the Cannes red carpet – which is why Solo: A Star Wars Story was invited this year. Red carpet glamour and star power is an important aspect of Cannes, and he still loves the big tentpole films and that they should feel “comfortable” in Cannes.

Fremaux admitted that he doesn’t like it when a great film chooses to bypass Cannes in favor of one of the later festivals, but ultimately his goal is to support cinema. “The festivals are all friends – Cannes, Berlin, Venice. What matters is that all the films find their spot,” he said.

Fremaux also said he is working on a sequel to his Lumiere!documentary, but that any premiere is at least two years away.


Watch: Shah Rukh Khan Tries To Solve The Mystery Of Zero Director Anand L Rai’s Lost Samosa!

Watch: Shah Rukh Khan Tries To Solve The Mystery Of Zero Director Anand L Rai's Lost Samosa!

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s most awaited upcoming film ‘Zero’ is all set to release on December 21st. Khan will be seen with Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif in the film, which traces the story of a quirky character “Bauua Singh”, played by Shah Rukh himself. The trailer of the film was launched on Shah Rukh’s birthday on November 2 in Mumbai; and after Zero trailer launch, SRK and the film’s director Anand L Rai were seen indulging in some lip-smacking street foods like pani puri, pav bhaji, etc. Shah Rukh is known to be a foodie and it seems like the actor has found his match in the director Anand L Rai. A recent video posted on Instagram by the official handle of Red Chillies Entertainment gives us a peak into the kind of fun that the cast and crew of ‘Zero’ had on the sets of the film.

“@aanandlrai is looking for a lost samosa and even @iamsrk doesn’t know where to find it,” said the caption of the video posted on Instagram. The video shows Rai being filmed while indulging in a number of fast foods and snacks, including samosas on multiple occasions. Apparently the director loves the Indian deep-fried snack samosa (honestly, who doesn’t?), but this love affair has prompted the crew of ‘Zero’ to make fun of him. Shah Rukh Khan even went to the extent of taking out posters of Anand L Rai with the caption, “Pehle meraa samosa waapis karo.” The posters were put up around the sets of ‘Zero’ to remind everybody of the director’s undying love for Samosa.


Kangana amazes Hollywood stunt director

Kangana Ranaut will be seen as Manikarnika Tambe aka Rani of Jhansi in her upcoming film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. In the recently revealed teaser of the film, Kangana looked extremely convincing while taking on the enemies, riding the horse, and attacking them with swords, guns or the bow and arrow.

In a conversation with the media, Hollywood stunt director Nick Powell was all praise for the Queen star as he revealed that Kangana insisted on doing all the action sequences by herself which left him impressed with her immense dedication. Interestingly, Powell has worked with Hollywood biggies like Gladiator fame’s Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and many others.

He also told, “The idea was to show a warrior who has been learning the ropes from a young age. Kangana practised sword fighting for eight hours a day, and convincingly pulled off each stunt. I have worked with the likes of Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but she gave me the unique experience in which an actress was leading the pack. There were times when she pulled off smoother stunts than Tom Cruise.”