Alumni and Faculty Head to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

April 25, 2018

Cannes is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, a week in the French Riviera celebrating great filmmakers. This year, several Alumni and one Faculty Member will showcase their work.


Faculty member Ramin Bahrani will premiere his latest feature film Fahrenheit 451 in the Midnight Screenings Program.


Still from Fahrenheight451

Still from Fahrenheit 451 courtesy of Indiewire


Based on the classic novel by Ray Bradbury, the movie stars Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) Sofia Boutella (The Mummy) and Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water). The film follows the story of a man whose job as a fireman is to burn all books. However, he begins to question his actions after meeting a young girl who sparks his rebellion. The movie was produced by HBO and will be released on that platform this summer.


Watch the official trailer of Fahrenheit 451 here.


Ramin Bahrani’s films have screened at the Venice, Cannes, Sundance, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals. He has won numerous awards including the FIPRESCI critic’s prize for best film in Venice (Goodbye Solo, 2009) and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among many others. His latest movie 99 Homes premiered at The Venice, Telluride, Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals, and was released nationwide in September 2015. It stars Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the film.


Alumna Clara Roquet ’16 is the co-writer of Petra, which will also screen at the Cannes Film Festival, in the Director's Fortnight, one of the most coveted programs. Created by the French Directors Guild in the wake of the events of May ’68, the Directors’ Fortnight seeks to aid filmmakers and contribute to their discovery by critics and audiences alike.


Still from Petra

Still from Petra, courtesy of the artist


Roquet work is widely celebrated. Her film El Adios won the 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Award, which she wrote and directed as part of her MFA coursework at the Columbia University Film Program. Because of this award and many others, El Adios was distributed by HBO. Prior to attending Columbia, Roquet co-wrote the feature film 10.000KM with director Carlos Marques-Marcet; they received a Gaudí Award for Best Screenplay for the film.


Yomeddine, produced by Alumna Dina Emam '16, is part of the Official Selection this year. The film was directed by NYU Tisch graduate A.B. Shawky and shot in Egypt. The official selection is the single most important group of films to premiere at the Festival. Among them, the jury select the movie that will receive the Palm D’or, the most prestigious award for independent cinema.


Still from Yomeddine

Still from Yomeddine, courtesy of Variety


Under the Silverlakeco-produced by Alumna Kristen Konvitz '08, will also be part of the official selection. Father, Jeff Konvits '69, a Columbia Law grad, was an Executive Producer of the film. It was written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, who received many accoldes for his movie It Follows. Under the Silverlake stars Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, and Topher Grace.


We’re the Kids in America written by Alumna Imelda O’Reilly ’08 was selected for the Cannes Cinéfondation Atelier. This event will give directors and producers the chance to showcase their projects to potential funding partners. According to Screendaily: “L’Atelier was created in 2005 to stimulate creative filmmaking and encourage the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers. Of the 202 projects to have attended so far, 145 have been released in theatres and 28 are currently in preproduction.”


Still from We're the Kids in America

Still from We're the Kids in America, courtesy of Independent Film Now


A Lucky Man, written and directed by Anna Guoto '16, produced by Inger Sveberg Dietrichs '16 and co-produced by Brigit Gernböck '16, will participate at the Short Festival Corner. This program was created in 2004 for short film professionals who are trying to make feature films. The Short Film Corner includes films from all over the world, most previously unseen, as well as the short films selected in the Official Competition, the Cinéfondation, the Director's Fortnight and the Critic's Week. A team of Alumni and Current Students worked on this film, including Lena Tsodykovskaya '16 (Director of Photography), Pernille Rivedal Hellevik '16 (Script Supervisor), Camille June Gregoire '16 (Digital Image Technician and Assembly Editor), Connor Simpson '19, Arie Esiri '19, Alex Cannon '17, Andrew Ruiz '15 (Sound Recordist), Damoon Parsa '18 (Sound Pre-Shoot), and Michael Castelaz '17 (Script Consultant).


Esra Saydam '11 is sharing her screenplay, The Mesopotamian, as part of the Maison Des Scenaristes portion of the festival. Maison Des Scenaristes portion aims to connect screenwriters globally in order to give them the opportunity to mutually support and help each other in the face of a harsher market environment.


The Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8-19, 2018.