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Fremaux, Hazanavicius, Bejo Bring Cannes Crème to Buenos Aires (EXCLUSIVE)

Cannes Festival Film Week a possible model for further events over the world

thierry fremaux
Copyright Institut Lumière/Photo Jean Luc Mège

BUENOS AIRES — In what may prove a prototype for more ventures around the globe, Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux will program and present the first Cannes Festival Film Week in Buenos Aires with Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist,” “The Search”) and Berenice Bejo in attendance.

The Semana de Cine del Festival de Cannes, as it is called in Spanish, runs Dec. 1-7.

But the Cannes Festival may not now stop at Buenos Aires, or Bucharest, where a similar event has taken place since 2010.

“We have projects to bring films all over the world. Cristian Mungiu is already organizing a showcase in Bucharest. It’s not so important for us as for the films,” Fremaux said, explaining that the Cannes Festival Film Week was not an attempt to launch a second Cannes Festival outside France.

But Cannes was “looking at territories where it would be beneficial to have a Cannes presence,” Fremaux added.

“This isn’t about me, it’s about Cannes’ task to organize events. It’s not enough for a film festival to show movies. You have to organize a market, welcome people, organize masterclasses and so on. The Buenos Aires event is part of our job.”

Building on the European Film Week which Fremaux launched in 2009 to run parallel to Ventana Sur – Latin America’s biggest film mart-meet which is organized by the Cannes Festival, Market and Argentina’s INCAA film agency – the Film Week will feature five high-profile Cannes’ titles: Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s 2014 Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep,” (Dec.1, 7), Ken Loach’s “Jimmy’s Hall,” (Dec. 4, 6) and Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language” (Dec. 5), a Cannes Jury Prize winner. A “surprise film” will be screened Dec. 2.

But the Cannes Festival Film Week, given it’s no longer backed by E.U. money – hence the change of moniker – has now broadened its scope to take in films from around the globe, such as Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” (Dec. 3), which shared this year’s Cannes Jury Prize with “Language.”

“As we are no longer required to show only European films, I’ve chosen films from the whole Selection,” Fremaux explained.

The winner of a best director Academy Award for “The Artist”), Hazanavicius will deliver a masterclass, accompanied by Bejo. In another masterclass, jocularly entitled “Look Who’s Talking,” Fremaux will reach out to the assembled Latin American industry to explain “how the Cannes Festival works,” he said.

Taking place in Buenos Aires’ downtown INCAA Espacio Cine Gaumont, the Cannes Festival Film Week comes on the heels of the 4th Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest. Running Oct. 24-30, organized by director Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”), and opening with “Leviathan,” this year’s Les Films screened 30 Cannes titles in Bucharest, plus a Bertrand Tavernier season, with Hazanavicius, Bejo, and Eastern European directors Sergei Loznitsa, Kornel Mundruczo and Radu Mihaileanu in attendance.

The question now is if Cannes will add other events to its mission of backing the world’s film industry.