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The Americans of the Cannes Film Festival

Homages, anniversaries, and women. Among all its themes, the 71st Cannes Film Festival beginning May 8, 2018, has certainly not forgotten the United States. Kristen Stewart and Spike Lee will be back on La Croisette, while Martin Scorsese is set to receive an award for his life’s work. With two movies in the official selection, and several feature-length films screened out of competition, Americans are set to enjoy a choice place once again this year.


Ramin Bahrani / Fahrenheit 451 / midnight screening

Adored by American critics but little-known in France, director Ramin Bahrani will be in Cannes for the screening of Fahrenheit 451, an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s book with Sofia Boutella, Michael B. Jordan, and Michael Shannon. François Truffaut first adapted the book (in English) in 1966.


Benicio del Toro / President of the Un Certain Regard jury

The Puerto Rican actor received the award for Best Actor for his role in the movie Che by Steven Soderbergh in 2008, and was a member of the jury presided by Tim Burton in 2010. He is now replacing Uma Thurman at the head of the Un Certain Regard jury, which this year will be judging 18 movies that are often not as well-known as those in the official selection.


Ava DuVernay / member of the jury

This year is the Californian director, producer, and screenwriter’s first time in Cannes. She won an Emmy and a BAFTA for 13th, a documentary on mass incarceration in America, and was the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director for Selma, a historical portrayal of the fight for civil rights in the U.S.A.


Logan George & Celine Held / Caroline / in-competition short-film

The husband-and-wife, director-and-screenwriter duo are among the new faces of independent cinema in America. Their short film about the wandering of a six-year-old girl in a Texan shopping plaza was presented at a preview screening at the South by Southwest festival in Austin last March.


Ron Howard / Solo: A Star Wars Story / special screening

The latest move in the Star Wars franchise — a prequel to the first film from 1977 — will be shown at a preview screening on May 15. Two movies from the saga have already been presented in Cannes — Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005 — but critics continue to fret about the the blockbuster.


Stanley Kubrick / 2001: A Space Odyssey / special screening

As part of the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s movie, a 70mm version restored by Christopher Nolan (The Dark KnightInceptionDunkirk) will be screened in Cannes on May 12. The following day, the English director will be giving a masterclass on how the American filmmaker influenced his own work.


Spike Lee / BlacKkKlansman / official selection

Spike Lee rocked Cannes in 1989 with Do the Right Thing, a film about the daily lives of a group of African-American teenagers in Brooklyn. This year, the director of Malcom X and Chi-Raq is competing for the Palme d’Or once again, with a feature-length movie inspired by a book by Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s.


David Robert Mitchell / Under the Silver Lake / official selection

The Michigan-born director is no stranger to the Critics’ Week. He was a member of the jury in 2016, and presented the horror movie It Follows to the public in 2014. This year sees him competing in the official selection with his fourth film, a thriller set in Los Angeles, which is in the running for the Palme d’Or.


Martin Scorsese / special guest

The director of Taxi Driver (Palme d’Or in 1976) will be honored at the opening ceremony of the Directors’ Fortnight on May 9. He will attend a screening of his iconic movie Mean Streets, which he presented at the same Fortnight event in 1974, and will also receive the Carrosse d’Or award from the Société des Réalisateurs de Films, the French directors’ guild.


Kristen Stewart / member of the jury

Kristen Stewart first shot to fame in the Twilight saga in 2008 and is a regular on La Croisette. She starred alongside Juliette Binoche in Sils Maria, which was entered for the Palm d’Or in 2014. Two years later, the ambassador for Chanel played the leading role in Personal Shopper by the same director, Olivier Assayas, which won the award for Best Director. The actress had everyone talking that year after striding up the red carpet wearing sneakers!

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