Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Chief Thierry Fremaux Talks 2015 Line-Up

Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Chief Thierry Fremaux Talks 2015 Line-Up

Article excerpt

When did you close the line-up you announced this morning?

In the early hours of the morning, around 1.30 am. A few loose ends up were tied up first thing today. We were awaiting a few replies overnight.

You announced 90% of the official selection today. How many more films have you leftto screen?

There are three or four films to put into competition and three or four films to put into Un Certain Regard. We've got 20 films - not to watch from scratch - but to re-watch, to work out how we could show them. We're waiting for one last film to arrive.

There are a lot new faces in competition this year. Was that a deliberate move or a chance occurrence because more established filmmakers did not have work ready?

Each selection is a unique process. I have the habit of saying, 'I don't select the films but it's rather the films which stand out and get themselves noticed, selected.' People say that it's always the same directors at Cannes but this year not a lot of the big auteurs had works to present.

But we have to screen films. So we had to take risks, like putting a first film in competition or inviting Gus Van Sant with a film which is not a typical Gus Van Sant film. It's a bit more commercial, a bit more mainstream. Normally when Gus comes to Cannes, it's with films like Elephant; films which are a bit radical. But it wasn't a question of saying six months ago we're going to programme new directors this year. It's just the way it was this year.

Is it a scary prospect when you programme a first film - like that of László Nemes' Son Of Saul - ?in competition?

I get scared for all the films. I'd love to do an interview about last year's selection because those films now exist and have be appropriated by audiences. If you say to me now, 'I don't like Wild Tales', I don't care. But last year, I would have been worried. I worry all the time. We want Cannes to be a celebration as well as useful for the industry and the press who are in attendance.

There was some surprise amongst the French journalists at the press conference that you have not selected Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Years for competition. Everyone thought it was a sure bet for a slot

I like the film a lot but we decided to put people into competition who had never come or [hardly ever] come before. …

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