A 2023 Cannes Festival preview: ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’, Depp’s film return, and Film USA reps Louisiana & film commissioners at the Marché du Film
The Cinematic Croissant. The Royal Plum. The French Garden of International Decadence. The–hold on…
I’m being told that literally nobody calls the Cannes Film Festival any of these things.
The annual Festival de Cannes represents the opening crescendo of the year’s major film festivals. The movies that premiere, the people that show up – it’s an event saturated with Hollywood decadence and movement that takes place an ocean away from Hollywood.
The 76th Festival de Cannes will take place from Tuesday, May 16th to Saturday, May 27th in Cannes, France. The early festival buzz and the field of Official Selections all represent a glimpse into a gorgeous lineup of the best upcoming drama of this year (besides the drama of a Writer’s Guild strike).
As films screen, industry professionals will network and sell scripts at the world’s largest annual film market, the Marché du Film. Film USA will represent Louisiana and the U.S. film industry with the Film USA Pavilion at Village International.
With just a short time before the biggest industry voices dig for fresh stories like 1950s coal miners, here’s a preview of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
Killers of the Flower Moon will have its world premiere Out of Competition
David Grann (The Lost City of Z, The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder) writes captivating adventurous nonfiction that depicts the hardest and rawest edges of the human soul. Pair his storytelling style in a mystery about 1920s Oklahoma Native American murders with Martin Scorcese’s direction, and the sheer potential makes it perfectly acceptable to stand up and let out a small screech in a public coffee shop.
Robert de Niro, Brendan Fraser, Leonardo Dicaprio. Jesse Plemons as an old-timey former Texas Ranger investigator with a brisk mustache. According to Variety, Killers of the Flower Moon will be Scorcese’s first film to premiere at Cannes since After Hours in 1985. Scorcese has been a prominent presence at the Festival de Cannes throughout his career and won the Palme d’Or in 1976 for Taxi Driver as well as serving as the President of the Jury in 1998.
Killers of the Flower Moon was filmed in Pawhuska, Oklahoma in cooperation with the Osage Nation. The film’s Native American cast includes Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal, and Tatanka Means. Apple gave Scorcese an estimated $200 million budget to work with and Killers of the Flower Moon will premiere in the U.S. theatrically on October 20th, 2023. Deadline reported the film’s runtime is locked in at three hours and 26 minutes – AKA you’ll have plenty of time to soak in it like a 104-degree sauna.
Pixar’s Elemental and Johnny Depp’s return in Jeanne du Barry will bookend the festival
The Cannes organizers will release the full festival lineup schedule on May 13th. Until then, Deadline reported they will open with Johnny Depp as King Louis XV in the French-language Jeanne du Barry and end with a city full of personified elements (earth, wind, air, fire) in Pixar’s 27th film, Elemental.
Jeanne du Barry is directed by French actress and director Maïwenn. She also stars as Jeanne du Barry (born Jeanne Bécu), King Louis XV’s second mistress who also served as his advisor with the title of “Marquise de Pompadour” for 20 years. The official Cannes Festival synopsis:
Jeanne Vaubernier, a young working-class woman hungry for culture and pleasure, uses her intelligence and allure to climb the rungs of the social ladder one by one. She becomes the favourite of King Louis XV who, unaware of her status as courtesan, regains through her his appetite for life. They fall madly in love. Against all propriety and etiquette, Jeanne moves to Versailles, where her arrival scandalizes the court…
In Element City, fire, water, earth and air live in perfect harmony. This is where Ember, a fearless and quick-witted young woman with a strong personality, and Wade, a sentimental, fun-loving, go-with-the-flow boy, live. Their friendship challenges Ember’s beliefs about the world they live in…
Elemental is directed by Peter Sohn and will close out Cannes on May 27th. It premieres theatrically in the U.S. on Father’s Day weekend on June 16th.
The Film USA Pavilion will represent Louisiana and U.S. film commissioners across the industry at the Marché du Film
Behind the festival gloss of titanic film premieres like Killers of the Flower Moon, Cannes is also an anthill of industry movement and creative births. It’s the largest movie market of the year – the Cannes Market, or the “Marché du Film”.
This is a convention, a networking event, an event where a conversation about a script leaks into a 2 a.m. meeting at a wine bar that ends with a handshake. Under the umbrella of the Festival de Cannes, the Marché du Film represents 12,500 industry professionals and over 4,000 unique projects.
Representing Louisiana and film commissioners across the U.S., Film USA will make the Cannes Festival and Marché du Film its centerpiece event its second straight year with the Film USA Pavilion at the Village International.
Film USA is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) founded by Baton Rouge Film Commissioner Katie Patton Pryor and Dallas Film Commissioner Tony Armer. The mission is to serve as a united umbrella under which film commissions from across the U.S. can share resources and work together to enhance the film and television industry in their communities.
Film USA co-founder Katie Patton Pryor gave us some insight into the upcoming anticipation for the Cannes Festival and how Louisiana will be represented:
I am very excited. It is only our second year at Cannes and we have nine USA Film Commission offices attending. One of our goals is to make these events more accessible to our USA Film Commission members so we can market our regions globally and attract production, and the reception thus far has been incredible.
You’ll note the large presence from Oklahoma… that is because Killers of the Flower Moon was filmed there! We are already planning for a Film USA presence at other events for this year and expanding every year. The next stop will be the Catalyst Content Festival in Duluth, MN from October 4-7. The Catalyst story institute has been an incredible support from the start.
Katie Pryor at the Cannes Film Festival
The “large presence from Oklahoma” Katie discussed is the members from Oklahoma film commissions that were an integral part of the infrastructure behind the Killers of the Flower Moon shoot. This includes members of the Cherokee Film Commission, Tulsa’s Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, and the Oklahoma Film and Music Office.
During the festival, Film USA will host panel discussions and happy hours and dive into niche areas of the industry structure, such as tax incentive programs for states and the relationship between film and tourism. View the full schedule of panels and speakers here.
Along with Film USA, the Louisiana Office of Tourism and Visit Baton Rouge have partnered to represent Louisiana by hosting a reception at Cannes. A Louisiana Office of Tourism study published on April 5th, 2021, showed the correlations between Louisiana tourism and the film industry – a key finding was that a staggering 13.5% of Louisiana tourists were directly impacted by a production they had watched that was based in Louisiana. Of the estimated $18.9 billion annually spent on Louisiana tourism, this translates to roughly $2.5 billion directly attributable to the film industry.
When asked about what she wants to personally see, Pryor said Killers of the Flower Moon was the top pick but also:
“I am an 80s kid, so I’d be lying if I said I was not bursting at the seams to see the new Indiana Jones.”
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