14 MAY 2016
The spotlight have since Wednesday been on the 69th Cannes Film Festival (France), which holds from May 11 to 22.
For this 69th edition of the Cannes festival, Africa is absent, save for the film La laine dans le dos by the Tunisian Lotfi Achour which has strong face-saving chances by getting the golden palm for short film. If one counts two movies from the black continent participating in the festival’s off, it should be noted that all the hopes of a Golden Palm rest on the Tunisian short film. Of the 21 feature films in competition, no African work was selected.
The other two African films are participating outside official competition in the Un certain regard and Special Session categories. These three films are not affected by the high-profile awards, those of feature films, the most prestigious remains the Palme d’Or, awarded to the best film of the festival. Since the inception of this award in 1955, the only African feature film to win the Palme d’Or is the Algerian film Chronique des années de braise directed by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina and won an award in 1975. The Tunisian film that will compete for the Palme d’Or for short film has been selected among ten films from the 5000 received by Cannes Short Film. The director Lotfi Achour has often won awards for his works, especially at the International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi (ADFF), United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2014 with his film Père where he won the award for best short film from the Arab world.
In 2015, no Tunisian film was selected for official competition. Since Wednesday and like every year, stars from around the world meet at the Palais des Festivals, where the most prestigious of the film festivals hold. For twelve days, 80 films will be screened on the big screen, including 21 in the contention for the Palme d’Or, under the considered look of the eight board members including Arnaud Desplechin, Valeria Golino and Vanessa Paradis. The jury is chaired by the Australian director George Miller, creator of the famous saga of Mad Max. Every year, thousands of people flood the coastal city of Cannes to photograph, get an autograph or even remotely see their favorite stars. At the opening night, a tribute was paid to the singer Prince, who died on April 21, with a reprise of his famous song Purple Rain. On the security side, never has the festival seen so many policemen around the Palais des Festivals. The motive is known, France is unlikely to forget the attacks of six months ago in Paris and would not to let the terrorists sabotage the celebration.