Russian, Kazakh, Iranian Films Among Competitors At Cannes
Films by directors from Iran, Russia, and Kazakhstan will be among the productions competing for the top award when the famed Cannes Film Festival opens on May 8 in France.
Twenty-one films will compete for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize in the festival, which will run through May 19.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows will be the first presentation this year at Cannes.
The psychological thriller about a family reunion features Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
Farhadi, 45, won an Oscar and the Golden Bear in Berlin for his 2011 film A Separation, but he has never won the top Cannes prize.
Iranian dissident Jafar Panahi, who is banned from traveling by Iranian authorities, has entered his film, titled Three Faces, a portrait of the Iranian capital, Tehran.
In 2010, Panahi received a six-year prison sentence and a 20-year ban on directing movies, writing screenplays, or giving any interviews, and cannot leave the country.
Panahi, who was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2012, is currently not behind bars but is not allowed to travel outside the country.
Russia’s Kirill Serebrennikov also will not likely be able to attend the showing of his film Summer, which highlights Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi and the birth of Russian underground music in the 1980s.
A Moscow court in April extended his house arrest for three months until July 19, meaning he will not be able to attend the festival unless he receives last-minute special permission.
Serebrennikov was arrested in August, accused of embezzling some $1 million in state funds, charges he calls absurd and which supporters say is part of a politically motivated crackdown on Russia’s arts community.
Kazakh director Sergei Dvortsevoy’s documentary-drama Ayka was a late entry. It tells the story of a young homeless single mother adrift in the post-Soviet Central Asian state.
A film by French actor-director Eva Husson titled Girls Of The Sun focuses on Kurdish women fighters battling the Islamic State militant group. Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani has a major role in the movie.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.