Festivals - Cannes 2024: A Brilliant Start to the 77th Film Festival

By Mulder, 14 may 2024

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicked off in style on May 14, 2024, with an opening ceremony that captivated the attention of the Croisette. Camille Cottin, already on stage at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, kicked off this memorable evening. She invited spectators to plunge into what she called the Cannes Vortex, a parallel dimension dedicated to emotion, commitment and the love of cinema. Carried along by the vibrant energy of the Worakls Orchestra, her speech laid the foundations for a festival dedicated to diversity and cinematic passion.

"We see films all day, and discuss them all night. In fact, no one speaks the same language, yet everyone understands each other (...) Here, when we plunge into darkness, it's to find light. It sounds completely crazy, but the craziest thing is that it's true. It's not a parallel world, it exists. This meeting place for cinephiles from all over the world, this place of encounter, of dialogue, of debate and thought, of culture and wonder, is here and now. At a time when the state of the world worries us, and in some places chills our blood, when deep fault lines divide peoples, when the planet is burning, when our collective intelligence could become artificial, such a meeting place is an opportunity. Every year in Cannes, we come to take a picture of our humanity, we come to fill up on hope... it's infinitely beautiful."

Camille Cottin then invited the members of the Feature Films jury, chaired this year by American actress and director Greta Gerwig, to join her. The jury, made up of such eminent figures as Ebru Ceylan, Lily Gladstone, Eva Green, Nadine Labaki, Juan Antonio Bayona, Pierfrancesco Favino, Kore-eda Hirokazu and Omar Sy, reflects the richness and diversity of world cinema. Greta Gerwig, who has conquered the world in just three films, was deeply moved by the spellbinding performance of singer Zaho de Sagazan, who sang David Bowie's Modern Love, the soundtrack to her film Frances Ha.

The evening reached its climax with the triumphant entrance of Meryl Streep, who came to receive an honorary Palme d'Or from French actress Juliette Binoche. In a poignant tribute, Juliette Binoche expressed her admiration for the American actress: "Your face and your voice are part of our lives. You gave us emotions. You made us grow. When I see you on screen, it's not you I see, it's a movement that passes through you. And that's what being an actor is all about. But in reality, it's more than that. It's a link created by your presence that lets beauty come to you. What flows through you in an instant is intention, thought, energy, love, truth. Where does it all come from? Love? Were you born this way? What was your dream?

In response to this tribute film retracing her career, Meryl Streep expressed her gratitude with emotion: For me, watching this clip is like looking out of a TGV window. Going like a flash from my youth to my fifties, right up to the present day. So many faces, so many places I remember so well. When I was in Cannes 35 years ago, for the first time, I was already a mother of three. I was approaching 40 and thought my career was over. At the time, for an actress, that was a reasonable prediction. The only reason I'm here tonight is because of the wonderful artists I've worked with, including Madame President. Finally, Meryl Streep and Juliette Binoche declared the 77th Cannes Film Festival open with one voice.

The opening ceremony was broadcast live on France 2 and internationally via Brut. It was followed by a screening of Quentin Dupieux's Le Deuxième Acte, released the same day in French cinemas. Thousands of spectators were also able to experience this exceptional evening in numerous cinemas, thanks to a joint initiative by the Festival de Cannes, France Télévisions, Brut and the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français (FNCF).

Throughout the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Festival Television, co-produced by France Télévisions, Brut. and the Festival de Cannes, will be covering the ascent of the steps, press conferences, photocalls and official events. These broadcasts will be available on France.tv, Brut. Cannes, YouTube and on the official Cannes Festival website.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be broadcast live internationally in English and French by Brut. without geographic blocking, enabling moviegoers the world over to take part in this great celebration of cinema.

The Cannes Film Festival continues until May 25, promising twelve days of cinematic discoveries, memorable moments and celebration of the seventh art.

(Source : press release)