Cannes Film Festival 2009

cannes-film-festival-2009_webCannes: not your average seaside resort but a beautiful, trendy resort on the Cote d’Azur, France no less. The Cannes Film Festival: not your average local film festival, but one of the biggest and most prestigious showcases of the world’s best film-making. The 62nd Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) runs from 13 – 24 May 2009.   Did you know that there are seven competitions involved in the Film Festival? The films shown include major blockbusters, foreign language films, directorial debuts and low-budget projects. In 2009, with the current economic recession, there might not be so much glitz and glamour in Cannes, but it still shows the true essence of great cinema.

This year, the Cannes Film Festival opens with a Disney Pixar animation called ‘Up’. It is a world premiere directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson. Other famous directors will be showing their recent work too:   Quentin Tarantino with his new film ‘Inglourious Basterds’; Jane Campion with her new film ‘Bright Star’; Pedro Almodovar with his new film ‘Broken Embraces’ and Ang Lee with his film  ‘Taking Woodstock’.

Most of the world’s attention turns to the films within the ‘In Competition’ event. This is the Festival’s main event where the most prestigious award, The Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) is given for the Best Picture. Last year’s Palme d’Or winner was for the  French film ‘Entre Les Murs’ (The Class) directed by Laurent Cantet.   Some of the biggest films have been the ones within the ‘Out of Competition’ category. Films shown in this category generally do not fit into any other section of the festival and are typically special events or films that the Festival feels deserve the honour of being screened at Cannes. The Chilean director/writer Alejandro Amenabar (‘The Sea Inside’, ‘Open Your Eyes’) will be showcasing his new film ‘Agora’ in this section.

Foreign language films at Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival makes a distinct effort to recognise and award foreign films to make them more accessible to the world’s viewing public.  The jury who will be judging the films includes the French actress Isabelle Huppert (‘La Pianiste’), American actress Robin Wright-Penn (‘State of Play’), South Korean director Chang-dong Lee (‘Oasis’) and Italian actress Asia Argento (‘Marie Antoinette’).

This year, the Official Selection comprises of  20 foreign language films from various countries including France, Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan  and the UK. One to watch is ‘Los Abrazos Rotos’ (Broken Embraces) by controversial Spanish director Pedro Almodovar which stars Penelope Cruz.

There are also opportunities for new foreign films to make the headlines.   The ‘Courts Metrages’ event features films from around the globe, while young directors can make their mark in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ competition.   The ‘Cinefondation’ selection presents short and medium-length films that have been selected by the Festival from film schools around the world. La Quinzaine des Realisateurs (The Directors Fortnight) was created in 1968 during the strikes that closed down the festival that year. Its intention was to open up the Cannes Festival to unknown filmmakers and national cinemas.This section of the competitions usually has around 18 foreign films which include countries such as Iran, France, Spain  and some Latin American countries. It has some of the best that the world cinema has to offer.

Award Winners at the Cannes Film Festival 2009

The winner of the Palme d’Or (Feature Film) went to Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon) directed by Michael Haneke (Cache- Hidden). The Palme d’Or for Short Film went to a Portuguese film called Arena directed by Joao Salaviza.

The winner of the Grand Prix went to  the French film Un Prophet (A Prophet) directed by Jacques Audiard.

Other awards for Best Actress went to Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of French actor Serge Gainsbourg) for her performance in the film Antichrist (directed by Lars Von Trier). Best Actor went to Christoph Waltz for his performance in the Quentin Tarantino directed film Inglorious Basterds.

The Jury Prize (Un Certain Regard) winner went to a Romanian film Politist, Adjectiv (Police, Adjective) directed by Corneliu Porumboiu.

Learn a Language with a Foreign Language Film

Your next holiday abroad may be a few months away, but why not make good use of the evenings to build up your language skills with a foreign language movie and learn about the culture of the country you will be visiting. With a DVD, you can choose the language for the soundtrack and the language for the subtitles. Always check the DVD has the right region and language combination for your particular country and your particular player … especially when buying on-line.

Browse our Foreign Language Films

To order and to browse English foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse French foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse Spanish foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse Chinese foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse Hindi foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse German foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse Italian foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse Japanese foreign language movies section>>
To order and to browse foreign language movies in other languages section>>