Sun, 19 May 2024
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Drama on and off screen at Cannes Film Festival 

Update : 14 May 2024, 19:59

This year's Cannes Film Festival gets under way on Tuesday, with events off screen likely to be as dramatic as the storylines in the selection of star-studded film premieres.

The hotly-anticipated films in the line-up include director Francis Ford Coppola's self-financed project Megalopolis, while attendees will get a glimpse of Sebastian Stan as a young Donald Trump in The Apprentice.

The fortnight's biggest films will also include the latest instalment of George Miller's Mad Max franchise.

But there are rumours that a string of actors and film-makers could be publicly accused of sexual abuse; there's a threat of strike by festival workers; and an Iranian director is expected to attend days after fleeing his home country after receiving a prison sentence.

Here are some things to look out for as Cannes rolls out its red carpet. 

Mad Max is back 

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a prequel to the Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road, which was incredibly well received when it premiered at Cannes in 2015.

George Miller returns as director, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over from Charlize Theron as a younger Imperator Furiosa.

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke also star in this apocalyptic, all-action thriller.

Francis Ford Coppola's passion project 

If you thought your hobbies were expensive, spare a thought for veteran director Francis Ford Coppola, who has spent $120m (£95m) making Megalopolis.

Starring Adam Driver as an architect rebuilding a city hit by tragedy, Laurence Fishburne and Dustin Hoffman also feature.

After winning the top Cannes award, the Palme d'Or, in the 1970s for The Conversation and Apocalypse Now, the 85-year-old could get his hands on the accolade once again.

Trump biopic arrives 

If you thought Cannes might provide a bit of respite from the build-up to the US presidential election, then you were mistaken.

That's because the story of a young Donald Trump's route into politics has been documented in the film The Apprentice.

Director Ali Abbasi has cast Sebastian Stan as a young Trump and Maria Bakalova as his first wife, Ivana.

Critics have also expressed their interest in seeing Succession star Jeremy Strong's take on Trump's mentor Roy Cohn.

Palme d'Or contenders 

The Palme d'Or is the biggest prize at Cannes, and once again there's stiff competition.

Heading the jury is Barbie director Greta Gerwig, who is joined by stars including French actor Eva Green and Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone.

The jury is an international affair, with Spanish director JA Bayona, Turkish screenwriter Ebru Ceylan and Italian actor and producer Pierfrancesco Favino also on the panel.

As well as The Apprentice and Megalopolis, the films in contention include Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine as Light, and British director Andrea Arnold's latest feature Bird.

Emma Stone, who won best actress at this year's Oscars for Poor Things, is reunited with director Yorgos Lanthimos for their new film, Kinds of Kindness.

Also in competition is The Seed of the Sacred Fig by Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, who was sentenced to eight years in jail last week for "collusion against national security".

However, his lawyer said on Monday that he had secretly left the country and would be in Cannes for the film's premiere.

Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Star Wars creator George Lucas are also set to receive honorary awards at the festival.

Moi aussi

Past Cannes festivals have been rocked by the MeToo movement, and once again it could be in the spotlight.

It's thought that new allegations could be made by women about abuse in the European entertainment industry.

There are rumours in the French media of a secret list of alleged abusive leading actors and directors, which could be published during the event.

French director and actor Judith Godrèche also has a short film, Moi Aussi, debuting at the festival, about victims of sexual violence.

She is seen as one of the key figures in the French MeToo movement and accused two directors of abusing her as a teenager in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, the event could grind to a halt altogether if a threatened strike by the festival's freelance workers goes ahead over proposed changes to French labour law.  Source: BBC

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