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Xavier Dolan, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury of the 77th Festival de Cannes

"Let's hold on to our dreams, because together we can change the world. Anything is possible for those who dare, work and never give up."  With this statement, filmmaker Xavier Dolan received the Jury Prize for Mommy at the 67th Festival de Cannes in 2014. At the helm of the Un Certain Regard Jury, he will celebrate the thirst for discovery and passion for others’ talent.


Xavier Dolan © Shayne Laverdière


It was an obvious choice: Xavier Dolan's filmmaking found its maturity in his extreme youth and boldness, of the kind that open up a world of possibilities, that believe more in dreams than in reality, and that find a way to rise up to their creative ambitions.


"I am humbled and delighted to return to Cannes as President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, declared Xavier Dolan. Even more than making films myself, discovering the work of talented filmmakers has always been at the very heart of both my personal and professional journeys. I see, in this responsibility I'm assigned, the opportunity to focus with the members of the Un Certain Regard Jury on an essential aspect of the art of film : stories told truthfully."


Opening ceremony Un Certain Regard 2023 © Joachim Tournebize


Self-taught, he wrote, directed, produced and starred in his first feature film, I Killed My Mother, at 19. Adapted from a short story he had written a few years earlier, this trial stroke was a master stroke and was chosen to represent Canada for the Academy Awards.


In 2010, reveals his multifaceted talent by being responsible his second film's art direction, costumes and editing. With Heartbeats, he made his first entrance in Un Certain Regard when he was just 21.


Two years later, Laurence Anyways  that premiered at Un Certain Regard won the section’s award for Best Actress ex-aequo for Suzanne Clément. His first award in Cannes highlighted Xavier Dolan's delicate sense for directing actors and actresses, with whom he has developed loyal, intense collaborations.


Mommy gave new exceptional roles to Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clément, after the psychological thriller Tom at the Farm. This 5th feature –his first in Competition– depicts a single mother's difficulties in raising her son. With deep emotion and poetry, he received from the hand of the New Zealand director Jane Campion, the Jury Prize tied with Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language. With this choice, the Jury rewarded both the oldest (84) and the youngest (25) filmmakers in Competition, proving that originality is not the prerogative of youth, nor maturity that of experience. The following year, Xavier Dolan joined the Jury chaired by the Coen brothers at the 68th Festival de Cannes.


His return to directing sounded like a new declaration of love to actors and audiences alike. It's Only the End of the World, an adaptation of Jean-Luc Lagarce's play, will be awarded the Grand Prix at the 69th Festival de Cannes. His fascination with acting can also be found in his next two films. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan is the story of a young boy's correspondence with his favorite actor, and Matthias & Maxime, presented in Competition in 2019.


He played a few notable roles for other filmmakers, including Xavier Giannoli's Lost Illusions, which earned him a nomination for the César Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2022, Xavier Dolan then directed his first TV series, The Night Logan Woke Up.


Greta Gerwig will preside over the Jury of the 77th Festival de Cannes that will take place from Tuesday May 14 to Saturday May 25, 2024.

The Official Selection will be announced on Thursday April 11, 2024.




By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Festival de Cannes




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