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Cannes Film Festival 2012 Gets Underway Tomorrow. An S&A Preview...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 15, 2012 at 12:51PM

The 2012 installment of the most prestigious film festival in the world - the Cannes Film Festival - officially opens its doors tomorrow May 16, and will run until the 27th - not quite 2 weeks of films, parties, funs and sun in the South Of France.
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Cannes 2012

The 2012 installment of the most prestigious film festival in the world - the Cannes Film Festival - officially opens its doors tomorrow May 16, and will run until the 27th - not quite 2 weeks of films, parties, funs and sun in the South Of France. 

Too bad Shadow And Act won't be there this year; we were last year, with MsWOO providing coverage; alas, with the lack of films about people of African decent in the festival's main lineup this year, and the cost of travel to and hotel while at the festival, I simply couldn't justify footing the bill. I'm not rich, contrary to popular belief; in fact, what most of you likely don't relaze is that we all have full-time jobs away from the site! 

But don't fret, because I'm sure those few *black films* in this year's Cannes lineup will almost surely eventually play in New York or LA some time afterward, whether at a local festival, or a special screening event.

Here in NYC, the New York Film Festival is like the Stateside version of the Cannes Film Festival because, as I've noticed since I started following the festival 3 years ago, it screens a number of the films that debut at Cannes. So I'm counting on eventually seeing (and of course reviewing) films like Senegalese filmmaker Moussa Touré’s 3rd feature film in 20 years, La Pirogue (The Pirogue)7 Days in Havana, which was directed by 7 different directors; French/Moroccan/Tunisian director Nabil Ayouch's Les Chevaux De Dieu (God's Horses) and a tiny few others. 

And while Lee Daniels' The Paperboy doesn't center on stories primarily about characters of African descent, it'll be on my list of films to see in the fall as wall, assuming it comes to the New York Film Festival.

Of course there are those films screening out of competition like Benh Zeitlin's magical realism film Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Adam Leon's Gimme The Loot - 2 films we've already seen and reviewed on S&A, the former at Sundance; the latter at SXSW.

I should certainly mention the Marché du Film (the Cannes Film Market) where a number of titles we've covered in recent weeks will be screening primarily for international buyers; others there hoping to raise production or completion funds (like Seith Mann's adaptation of the graphic novel MISS: Better Living Through Crime, which Spike Lee is executive producing); there's also the Cannes Court Métrage, also known as the Short Film Corner, which should be self-explanatory, as well as the Cannes L’Atelier - an initiative which runs during the festival aimed at finding financing for projects by upcoming directors that are in an advanced state of development (Dyana Gaye's Des Etoiles; or, in English, Stars).

As news develops around any of these projects, we'll report here.

So *we* (black people) won't be entirely absent, but just don't expect a deluge of titles that tell stories primarily about *us*. However, such is the case at Cannes almost every year, so this shouldn't be a shock. 

Still, it's never a bad idea to have some presence at a festival of this caliber, if only to network. And of course there are a lot of non-black films to see; some of them actually might be good too :)

But I have some spies at the festival, who already planned on going, and who'll hopefully be providing some coverage for S&A - at least reviews of the few black films in competition.

And to those who are going (and who may actually already be there), enjoy! My Twitter feed has been abuzz all the day with pics of sightings.

The rest of us will live vicariously through you!


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