Press 17 APR 2014

Cannes 2014

The Dardenne Brothers and Fabrice du Welz in Cannes!

Deux jours,une nuit (Two Days, One Night), the latest film by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, will premiere in competition during forthcoming 67th Cannes International Film Festival, which is scheduled May 14 to 25. This latest production, for which expectations run very high, features Marion Cotillard and Fabrizio Rongione and will be shown as part of the festival’s Official Selection, which this morning was unveiled by festival chairman Thierry Frémaux during a press conference in Paris.

The Dardenne brothers are regular Cannes customers. Ever since The Promise in 1996, all their films premiered on the Croisette and they will, this year too, be among the strong candidates for the coveted prizes. So far, all their previous presences (except The Promise) at Cannes resulted in major prizes, including two Palmes d’Or (for Rosetta in 1999 and for The Child in 2005), the best actress prize for Emilie Dequenne (Rosetta), the best actor prize for Olivier Gourmet (The Son) in 2002, best scenario for Lorna’s Silence in 2008 as well as a Grand Prix du jury for The Boy on the bike in 2011.

The Dardenne brothers also had a part in another competition film: Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, a Films du Fleuve co-production.

Belgian filmmaker Fabrice du Welz will attend Cannes with his latest, highly personal film, Alleluia. It is a free adaptation of an American ‘fait divers’ better known as « the Lonely Hearts Killers» and takes us along the meanders of a destructive passion. Manipulated by a possessive and jealous husband Gloria runs away with her little daughter to build a new life far from the world and men. At the insistence of her girlfriend Madeleine she agrees to meet a man called Michel via a dating site. Michel, a cheap small-time confidence trickster (profession: gigolo), gets in a flurry by the encounter and Gloria falls madly in love with him. She abandons her daughter en passes herself off as Michel’s sister in order to enable him to continue cheating lonely widows. But Gloria is increasingly eaten up by jealousy...

Alleluia is Fabrice du Welz’ fourth film. The premiere of his debut feature Calvaire at the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2005 instantly established him as a highly peculiar ‘auteur’. In 2007 he shot Vinyan in Thailand with Emmanuelle Béart and Rufus Sewell. The film was selected for the Venice Mostra del Cinema’s Official Selection. Colt 45, a ‘film noir’ featuring Gérard Lanvin and Joey Starr, which is currently in post-production, is scheduled for release end of 2014.

The Directors’ Fortnight was established in the aftermath of the events of May 1968 by the Société des Réalisateurs de Films (SRF) as an off-festival of the Cannes Film Festival. The Directors’ Fortnight has a structure of its own and has the reputation of a ‘counter festival’.

French-speaking Belgium is also present in the Official Selection’s short film competition with Les corps étrangers by young talent Laura Wandel.

This fifteen minute short produced by Dragons Films was made with the support of the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and tells the story of a man who has to learn to cope with his new body during his revalidation at a municipal swimming pool, while, in fact, he feels incapable of accepting it. The physiotherapist who assists him, attempts to break the distance he is maintaining from his own body as well as from his environment. The lead characters are performed by Alain Eloy and Michaël Abiteboul.

Laura Wandel, who learnt the trade at Louvain-la-Neuve’s IAD (Institut des arts de diffusion), previously made two short films: Murs (2007) and O Négatif (2011). Having worked as an assistant, stage manager, costume designer and casting assistant, she knows all the tricks of the trade. The last Cannes Palme d’Or to be won by a French-speaking Belgian short film dates back from 1979, with Harpya by Raoul Servais. 

Moreover, the Certain Regard festival section will premiere another Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel backed film: the Greek-Belgian Xenia by Panos H.Koutras, an “Entre Chien et Loup” co-production.

This film tells the story of 16-year old Danny and 18-year old Odysseas who, after their Albanese mother has died, have become strangers in their own country and who set out across Greece in search of their Greek father in order to force him to legally recognize them as his children. On their way, they are confronted with ghosts from their past, with man’s cruelty and with the dream which has to come true at all cost. And so they become grown-ups in a country which refuses to follow them.

Panos H.Koutras was born in Athens. He studied film at the London International Film School and went on to study in Paris. He previously made three feature-length films, among which Strella, which received acclaim at the 2009 Berlinale. This selection once again illustrates the sustained quality level of Diana Elbaum and Sébastien Delloye’s Entre Chien et Loup co-productions.

The production company, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, (co)produced some ten films which were selected for one of the Cannes programme sections: The Congress by Ari Folman in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2013, Un homme qui crie by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun in competition in 2010, Altiplano by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth in the Critics’ Week in 2009, Ne te retourne pas by Marina de Van in Official Selection in 2009, La raison du plus faible by Lucas Belvaux in competition in 2006, Mille mois by Faouzi Bensaïdi in Un Certain Regard in 2003 or Depuis qu’Otar est parti by Julie Bertuccelli in the Critics’ Week in 2003.

« Un Certain Regard » is a sidebar section of Cannes’ Official Selection established in 1978 and largely includes « atypical » films which in the Official Selection would threaten to be overlooked as a result of the presence of the “big names”. 

Panache, an other important Belgian producer will be present with a co-production: the documentary "Caricaturistes, fantassins de la démocratie", presented at a special screening, off the competition.