Will 'Twelve Years A Slave' Premiere At The Cannes Film Festival?

Festivals
by Sergio
January 22, 2013 9:07 AM
8 Comments
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Of course, we're still quite a few months away before this year's Cannes Film Festival announces its selection of films that will screen, both in and out of competition. But both Tambay and I agree that this is a no-brainer.

Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave for certain, will make its premiere at this year's festival. So how can we be so confident? Well there are several factors in its favor.

First of all, it's an independently made, much talked about and anticipated, high profile film with major stars, about a controversial subject matter made by an equally controversial major director. That's the kind of movie they live for at Cannes.

Second, as I just alluded to, it's got star power: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodward, Ruth Negga, Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry among others. And there's nothing they love more at Cannes than to have movie stars walking up those famous red carpeted steps to the Grande Auditorium on The Palais, for the movie's premiere, with the world's paparazzi out in full force.

And it will be the second trip in a row for both Wallis and Henry, who were at Cannes last year for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Also don't forget that Brad Pitt is not only in the film as well, but also produced and financed the film through his production company Plan B; Pitt has been a Cannes regular for years (he was there last year for Killing Me Softly) and, no doubt, has lots of festival connections.

Then there is also the history that McQueen has with the festival. Remember that in 2008 he won the Camera d'Or award for best first time director, for his feature film debut, Hunger, and they probably would have premiered Shame if the film had been ready in time.

So it's pretty obvious that the festival is quite anxious to have his latest film, which presumably is now in the final stages of post-production. It's probably also likely that Cannes programmers have already seen a rough cut of the film, which is how, secretly, a lot of major festivals operate.

After that, the film will most likely be shown at other major festivals such as Venice, Toronto, London and New York, ahead of a fall release, due to its serious subject matter and its potential to be some major Oscar bait.

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8 Comments

  • Michelle | February 11, 2013 10:22 PMReply

    I just finished reading the book! I can't wait to see it. I think it is a side of slavery that needs to be seen. I'll be waiting!!!

  • Dante | January 22, 2013 11:32 AMReply

    Curtis you are right but keep in mind Both Lincoln and Django were also huge Boxoffice hits to go along with the outstanding reviews. Amps love boxoffice hits.I don't see 12 years a slave being a Boxoffice hit.

  • Curtis20 | January 22, 2013 11:29 AMReply

    Both Lincoln and Django got Critical acclaim and major Oscar nods so I am pretty sure this film will also.

  • Nikki | January 22, 2013 7:38 PM

    How many Oscar nods did Shame and Hunger get??? Why does a film need Oscar nods anyways?

  • Nikki | January 22, 2013 11:12 AMReply

    I honestly don't see this being major oscarbait. For one thing McQueen's film may have critical acclaim, but they don't really garner Oscar nominations. Another thing is the controversial subject matter and McQueen is not one to shy away from the horrors of slavery. I don't think Oscar will bite. I'm just hoping for a good film.

  • WB2 | January 22, 2013 2:04 PM

    I'm with you Nikki! This 'aint no Django we're talking about. lol. There won't likely be moments where people laugh or are 'entertained' or titilated. McQueen's work is unflinching, unapologetically raw....and while Cannes supports his fearlessness, not sure the American bastion of film awards is ready to accept his vision of slavery, especially when the story is based on a true story, one that will likely reflect the true atrocity of slavery and not a fetishized version of it.

  • Brent | January 22, 2013 10:14 AMReply

    I've been waiting 1 whole year to hear when this movie will premiere. I'm so stoked! Good coverage Indiewire

  • Jim | January 22, 2013 10:00 AMReply

    Cannes always have some of the best movies of the year. Holy Motors, Rust & Bone, Beasts of the southern wild & Amour were the highlights last year and it generated a lot of Oscars nominations for some of them. I especially like the fact that they created a section for the newcomers, this way they are able to shine too. I thinks "Beasts of the southern wild" is a perfect example.
    James Gray will be there with "Lowlife", that's for sure. Ashgar Farhadi's "The past" will certainly make it, the French loves him (He won the César for a Separation) and the movie is in French of course. Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmin" should be finished soon so he will also make it. That's already four incredible movies !

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