The 69th Festival de Cannes will be presided by the Australian visionary director, screenwriter and producer, George Miller, author of such classics as Mad Max original trilogy, Babe and Happy Feet, as well as last year’s multiple Academy Award-winner, Mad Max:Fury Road.
Cannes has always sought to adopt a universal and international approach, and in tune with this tradition, George Miller will be surrounded by eight luminaries of world cinema, Katayoon Shahabi from Iran, Mads Mikkelsen from Denmark, Kirsten Dunst from United States, Valeria Golino from Italy, Vanessa Paradis and Arnaud Desplechin from France, Donald Sutherland from Canada and Laszlo Nemes from Hungary. The Jury will therefore include four women and four men around George Miller. Their task will be to decide between the 21 films in Competition in order to select the winners – to be announced on stage at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday 22nd May. The film awarded by the Palme d’or will be screened this same evening, in the presence of the Jury and the entire team of the winning film.
Arnaud Desplechin, French director and writer, became an official competitor at Cannes with The Sentinel, his first feature film. He then made My Sex Life… or How I Got into an Argument, which introduced a new generation of actors. The artists in his films have regularly been awarded the most prestigious prizes, notably the 61st Festival de Cannes Prize for Catherine Deneuve in A Christmas Tale. In 2016, he won the César for Best Director for his film My Golden Days. He recently directed his first theater play, August Strindberg‘s The Father at the Comédie-Française, to great acclaim.
Kirsten Dunst made her breakthrough performance at the age of 11 in Interview with the Vampire by Neil Jordan earning her a Golden Globe nomination. She played in Sofia Coppola’s independent film, Virgin Suicides, in the Spider-Man film series by Sam Raimi, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Michel Gondry, and won the Best Actress Award at the 2011 Festival de Cannes for her performance in Lars von Trier‘s Melancholia.
Early on in her career, Valeria Golino was awarded the Prize of Best Actress for her role in Francesco Maselli’s A Tale of Love at the Venice Film Festival and her career became international. She notably appeared in Barry Levinson’s Rain Man (1988), Emanuele Crialese’s Respiro (2002), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Actrices (2007) and Paolo Virzì’s Human Capital (2013). In 2013, she directed her first film, Miele, screened at the Festival de Cannes in the Un Certain Regard selection, and received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. She recently appeared in Giuseppe M. Gaudino’s Per Amor Vostro, which won her the Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival. She is currently working on directing her next feature-length film.
Mads Mikkelsen rose to fame as an actor in the Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher film trilogy. He became widely known internationally for his role as the main antagonist Le Chiffre in the James Bond film, Casino Royale (2006). Other credits include Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding (2006), Nikolaj Arcel’s Royal Affair and his Festival de Cannes Best Actor Award-winning role in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (2012), Arnaud Des Pallières’s Michael Kohlhaas premiered in Cannes in Competition (2013). He will appear in Marvel’s 2016 film, Doctor Strange, and Disney’s 2016 Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Director and writer László Nemes was born in Budapest, where he became interested in filmmaking at an early age. After studying History, International Relations and Screenwriting, he worked as Béla Tarr‘s assistant during the filming of The Man from London. His 2015 debut feature film, Son of Saul, was screened in Competition at the 2015 Festival de Cannes, where it won the Grand Prix. He is the first Hungarian director whose film has won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His film, Son of Saul, is the second Hungarian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
An actress and singer of great renown, Vanessa Paradis has pursued both careers internationally, be it recording albums, performing concerts or shooting films. She played notably in Girl on the Bridge by Patrice Leconte (1999),Heartbreaker by Pascal Chaumeil (2010), Café de Flore by Jean-Marc Vallée, Fading Gigolo by John Turturro. In music, she has notably collaborated with Serge Gainsbourg and Matthieu Chedid. Her most recent album, “Love Songs”, won her a 2014 Victoire de la Musique award.
Katayoon Shahabi, producer from Iran, worked as a film promoter in Farabi Cinema Foundation (FCF), before establishing in 1994 her own company, Sheherazad Media International (SMI), the most important private company active in the worldwide distribution of features, documentaries and co-production with foreign companies. SMI has introduced films from acclaimed directors to the world. In 2012, she launched her company, Noori Pictures too, with which Tales by Rakhshan Banietemad and Wednesday, May 9 were awarded in Venice in 2014 and Nahid by Ida Panahandeh in Un Certain Regard 2015.
Donald Sutherland is one of the most respected, prolific and versatile actors, with over one hundred and fifty film credits, including such classics as Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen, Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, (Palme d’or 1970) Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900, Alan J. Pakula’s Klute, Federico Fellini’s Fellini’s Casanova, Oliver Stone’s JFK and Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice. Sutherland was ‘President Snow’ in the hugely popular The Hunger Games film series. Upcoming films include Milton’s Secret and Measure of a Man.