This year’s Cannes Film Festival has now come and gone; another one truly for the books. The galas have all ended and the red carpets have been rolled up, but what remains is a truly interesting landscape given what the world still reflects on as one of the greatest renowned film festivals in the world. Cannes has been garnered as a maker and breaker of careers with a long history of premiering some of the best films of all time. This year was no exception. The welcoming of a new feature by Colombian filmmakers Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego as well as a grand statement on the role of women in film that continues the vastly important #MeToo movement inspired and educated.
A new title joining The Orchard’s ranks during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival is Birds of Passage from Colombian directing team Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego. The film played in the Directors’ Fortnight competition this year. Birds of Passage tells the story of an indigenous clan in the north of Colombia that gets in way over its head during the “la Bonanza Marimbera” of the 60’s and takes us into the 80’s with two warring clans fighting over drug territory and tribunal rights. Beautifully captured in the desert landscapes of the Wayuu people, Birds of Passage follows Raphayet and his family as they build their drug-fueled empire and struggle to maintain it. Structured in five chapters or ‘songs’ the film delivers a fascinating rendition of Columbia’s complicated identity. Exploding with color and jam-packed with action, audiences are sure to be on the edge of their seat during this film.
Among the biggest news out of Cannes was the protest in which 82 women climbed the steps of the Palais des Festivals in an unprecedented red carpet protest to press for improved gender equality in the film industry. In the seven decades since the festival’s inception, only 82 female-directed films have been represented out of 1,866 films screened at the festival. This protest was lead by Cate Blanchett in an effort to show the festival that equality is key to an industry that is pushing for progress. “Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise,” Blanchett said. “We stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination to change and progress.” The goal of the Time’s Up and 5020X2020 is to bring about equality in filmmaking by the year 2020.
This year’s festival was a landmark one in the industry and also in history. Voices are being heard, origin stories of the world were screened, and as Cate Blanchett stated during her demonstration, “The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all,” she concluded. “Let’s climb.”