Film Festivals

All About The Festival de Cannes 2021

France’s legendary Festival de Cannes kicked off with their opening ceremony, which featured some stunning red carpet looks and a debut screening of feature film Annette.

When COVID-19 broke out last year, it derailed Cannes, forcing one of its only cancellations since the festival began in 1946. Many feared it would be cancelled again this year when it was pushed back from May, but the festival is now taking place from July 6-17.

Spike Lee Leads the Jury

Spike Lee, director of She’s Gotta Have It and BlacKkKlansman, is the first black jury president. He walked the red carpet in a bright pink Louis Vuitton suit, matching sunglasses, and custom Air Jordans.

Spike Lee at the Festival de Cannes opening ceremony
Photo: Malay Mail

Lee said, “To me the Festival de Cannes… has had a great impact on my film career. You could easily say Cannes changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema.”

Lee will help choose the winners of the festival’s prestigious awards along with his fellow jury members. This year’s feature jury is Mélanie Laurent, Tahar Rahim, Mati Diop, Myléne Farmer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hausner, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Kang Ho Song.

Festival de Cannes' feature jury at the opening ceremony
Photo: @irishtimesvideo on Twitter

The Guest of Honor

Jodie Foster is the Festival’s guest of honor and she received the honorary Palme d’Or at the opening ceremony. 

“Jodie Foster has provided us with an amazing gift by coming to celebrate the return of the festival on the Croisette,” Cannes president Pierre Lescure said according to Variety. “Her aura is unparalleled: she embodies modernity, the radiant intelligence of independence and the need for freedom.”

Foster wore a silver-studded Givenchy dress and white earrings.

Jodie Foster wins the honorary Palme d'Or at the Festival de Cannes opening ceremony
Photo: South China Morning Post

Feature Films in the Running

Directed by Leos Carax, Annette was the opening film and the first to compete for the 2021 Palme d’Or. It stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, and Variety says it got a standing ovation.

The next films shown are Ha’berech by Nadav Lapid, followed by Tout S’est Bien Passé by François Ozon. You can find the full schedule here.

About author


Annie Burba is a sophomore at New York University studying journalism and psychology. She spends her spare time reading, scrolling through TikTok, and trying not to kill her plants.
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