Cannes president picks 35 filmmakers for project

PARIS — Cannes Film Festival prexy Gilles Jacob has revealed the identity of 35 world ranking helmers involved in a collective film to mark the festival’s upcoming 60th anniversary.

Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, Jane Campion, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Zhang Yimou are among 22 previously unreported participants in “To Each his Own Cinema,” a feature film made up of 3 minute shorts, as revealed by Variety, Feb. 6.

Helmers of the 33 films (two of the contributions are from helmer siblings Joel and Ethan Coen and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) hail from 25 countries around the world, the fest said Tuesday.

The film will be screened during a day of anniversary celebrations May 20, the first Sunday of the festival, which runs May 16-27.

The film project was so top secret that even the helmers involved didn’t know who their fellow participants were. But in response to growing media curiosity — and the threat of more leaks — the festival put out Tuesday’s communique.

All the directors had to go on was a brief to “reveal, in 3 minutes each, their current state of mind as inspired by the motion-picture theater,” Jacob said in his first public remarks about the film.

The result was “a series of improbable encounters — Wenders filmed in the Congo, Tsai Ming Liang in Kuala Lumpur and Cronenberg in the… toilet!”

Modest budgets, according to the topper, “stimulated them to be not only particularly creative, unexpected, comic, tender, cynical, contemplative, funny, moving or provocative, but accessible and audacious as well.”

Jacob named the participating helmers in alphabetical order as:

Theo Angelopoulos; Olivier Assayas; Bille August; Jane Campion; Youssef Chahine; Chen Kaige; Michael Cimino; Ethan & Joel Coen; David Cronenberg; Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne; Manoel De Oliveira; Raymond Depardon; Atom Egoyan; Amos Gitai; Hou Hsiao-hsien; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; Aki Kaurismaki; Abbas Kiarostami; Takeshi Kitano; Andrei Konchalovsky; Claude Lelouch; Ken Loach; Nanni Moretti; Roman Polanski; Raoul Ruiz; Walter Salles; Elia Suleiman; Tsai Ming-liang; Gus Van Sant; Lars Von Trier; Wim Wenders; Wong Kar Wai and Zhang Yimou.

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