Iranian-American director, screenwriter and producer Ana Lily Amirpour made her first film at 12. She has a varied background in the arts, including painting and sculpting, and was bass player and front-woman of an art-rock band before moving to Los Angeles. Her visually dynamic and color-imbued body of work embodies the mantra to make the weird real. But she also taps into her multicultural, musical background to create masterpieces of the Seventh Art which feature rocking casts as well as wondrous soundtracks.
Her debut feature film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) was critically acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival, before making the rounds of films festivals and ending up at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. In 2016, The Bad Batch -- which featured Keanu Reeves in a part he was born to play, named simply "The Dream" -- won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon debuted at Venice in 2021. We wrote about it on MIME.
Recently she helmed The Outside, an episode of Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities. She has created comic books based on A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and she will publish an intimate book of journal entries collected from her iPhone called Sent From My Slimy Brains.
Israeli filmmaker and actor Shlomi Elkabetz rose to fame with the trilogy about the place of women in the Israeli society with To Take a Wife, Shiva and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, co-written with his sister Ronit Elkabetz. With Black Notebooks, selected at the Festival de Cannes (2021), he went on differently this intimate and artistic conversation with his sister, deceased in 2016, through a two-films portrait where fiction and documentary combine to deliver a reflection on life and death. When Black Notebooks: Ronit released in the U.S. Nina got to speak with Elkabetz about this hauntingly personal doc, which feels like a thriller, also due to its Hitchcockian soundtrack.
A versatile performer, Elkabetz also starred in the HBO TV series Our Boys (2019) and has produced several films among them In Between (2016) by Maysaloun Hamoud, her TV series Nafas (2020) and most recently Ead by Yosef Abu Magiam; Cause You’re Ugly by Sharon Angelheart; I Cant Say No to Myself by Hadas Ben Aroya and Golden Heart by Efrat Corem. He’s currently working on his upcoming film as a director, titled Maria.
"When, in 1989, in that magical year of change in Europe I arrived in Cannes with my first feature film - with exhibitions banned, a student film banned and many difficulties - it was an unbelievable feeling. Being chosen meant to be understood, to be seen for real, as if this huge, colorful and flamboyant community of brilliant artists and film professionals opened their arms to me, the total beginner, inviting me among them, extending trust where there was just a promise. Till this day I remember every moment of the time spent in Cannes. I am sure that those young filmmakers who present their short films in this year’s festival feel the same positive shock. I root for them, I hope that this recognition will boost their confidence to continue, to be bold and humble, not to lose focus, not to be starstruck or stunned - I root for them to deal with this recognition in a mature and wise way. Well, in a nutshell or rather in short…I root for them!" -- Ildikó Enyedi
As President of this jury sits Ildikó Enyedi, a major figure in contemporary Hungarian cinema who has always sought to think about cinema and question its practice. From the beginning of her career at the end of the 1970s, she was involved in contemporary and conceptual art circles. At the beginning, she explored her craft by making films like Flirt: Hipnózis, where she filmed herself during a hypnosis session, and The Mole where she describes an entirely projected world, recalling Plato's allegory of the cave.
Her later works include On Body and Soul, which walked away with the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2017, as well as The Story of My Wife, which world premiered in Competition at the Festival de Cannes 2021.
Also on this cool jury is Charlotte Le Bon who grew up in Quebec before moving to Paris. She worked as an actress with famous directors such as Michel Gondry and Jalil Lespert. Afterwards, her career took her to the United States to play in films directed by Lasse Hallström, Robert Zemeckis and Sean Ellis. As a plastic artist, Le Bon explores oddness through painting, drawing and lithographing. A fan of genre movies, she wrote and directed her first short film Judith Hotel, which premiered at the Festival de Cannes in 2018. Falcon Lake, her first feature film, was selected at the Director's Fortnight in 2022 and received several awards. The film has also been awarded the same year with the Louis-Delluc Prize for the Best First Film.
Rounding out the jury is resourceful artist, Karidja Touré provided an unforgettable memory with her first role in the acclaimed Girlhood (2014) by Céline Sciamma, especially with the scene dancing and singing on “Diamonds” by Rihanna as a powerful ode to freedom. For this role, she was nominated as Most Promising Actress at the French Académie des César. In 2017, she plays in The Midwife by Martin Provost, La Colle by Alexandre Castagnetti, Skokan de Petr Václav and Back to Burgundy by Cédric Klapisch, and recently in Ima by Nils Tavernier with the singer Dadju. Also theatre actress, she played in Paris Une mort dans la famille by Alexander Zeldin at the Théâtre de l’Odéon (2021) and in The Just Assassins by Albert Camus directed by Abd Al Malik (2019) at the Châtelet in Paris and lately in Geneva, Switzerland (2023).
The Festival de Cannes will take place from May 16th to the 27th, 2023.