In the past few years, Un Certain Regard – originally created to showcase the most experimental, left-of-field and smaller-scale films that simply didn’t make the Competition cut — has gained a higher profile under general delegate Thierry Fremaux’s leadership.
“I am very proud to serve as president of the jury for Un Certain Regard. Proud to take part in another way in the adventure in Cannes. Un Certain Regard, where I have presented three of my films, is always a very exciting selection. It brings us grand masters, promising young talent, new countries and new forms of cinema,” said Trapero.
A founding father of the New Argentine Cinema with 1999’s “Crane World,” a minimalist sepia and b/w chronicle of the dire hand-to-mouth economic straits of Argentina’s working class which moved waves at Buenos Aires’ new Bafici festival, Trapero is exactly the kind of filmmaker which Cannes and the French industry at large likes to champion, whether from the U.S. or beyond: An auteur who connects with a public.
“Each of Pablo Trapero’s films portrays a harsh social reality in an almost documentary style, through a plot that is akin to a thriller and offers an uncompromising look at contemporary political issues,” said a Cannes press release, a statement particularly true of his sophomore pic “El Bonaerense,” unveiling corruption in the city’s police force, “Carancho,” about false accident insurance scams, and “White Elephant,” turning on two worker priests in a Buenos Aires slum villa.
“White Elephant” grossed $4.2 million for Disney in Argentina and $1.3 million in Spain, placing Trapero in the select club of Latin American filmmakers whose movies can open in foreign territories to seven-figure takes.
In a career which has constantly opened up, Trapero has been attached to direct Working Title’s English-language India-set “Six Suspects,” a murder mystery.
Tags like “New Argentine Cinema” can be useful, Trapero concedes.
“But things are very different from 15 years ago. Problems, anguish and desires over the Western world are very similar. I like being an Argentine director, but I also like a kind of cinema that isn’t defined by geographic or political frontiers, but by how it relates to people who see it,” he told Variety.
Having served as an associate producer on Lisandro Alonso’s “Freedom,2” in 2002,with Martina Gusman, Trapero created Matanaza Cine, a production house for his films and those of a new generation of Argentine filmmakers such as Raul Perrone, Albertina Carriu and Santiago Palavecino.
Trapero has strong ties with the French Riviera-set festival: His sophomore pic “El Bonaerense” played at Un Certain Regard in 2002, while his 2008 drama “Lion’s Den” screened in competition. Trapero was back in Cannes in 2010 with ”Carancho” and with 2012′s “White Elephant,” which both world-premiered in Un Certain Regard.
Part of the official selection, Un Certain Regard’s lineup includes 20 films. The full program will unveiled at the Cannes film fest’s press conference in Paris on April 17.
As previously announced, Jane Campion will serve as president of the competition jury.
Un Certain Regard winners will be announced on Friday, May 23, on the eve of the 67th Festival’s closing ceremony that will take place, as an exception, on a Saturday night.