Cannes jury deliberations will be 'heated'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 15 May 2013
Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears has offered an insight into the difficult decisions this year's Cannes Film Festival jury can expect

Stephen Frears says the Cannes Film Festival jury's deliberations are "heated".

The filmmaker headed the prestigious award ceremony's panel of jurors in 2007 - when the top Palme d'Or prize went to Romanian film '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' - and he has revealed this year's president Steven Spielberg has a tough task ahead since decisions are rarely unanimous and have resulted in some vicious spats in the past.

Discussing his past role, Frears told BBC News: "It's an odd number in the jury but I don't remember withholding my vote until the others had voted. I mean, sometimes a decision would be reached and you'd think, 'Well, that wasn't a very good one.'

"There was one very heated moment of passion during deliberations that quite shocked me but I can't tell you what it was."

The 12-day festival kicks off in the south of France this evening (15.05.13) with the screening of Baz Luhrmann's Hollywood blockbuster 'The Great Gatsby', but this year's jury will have a fight on their hands should they pick a similarly American film for the prize since independent foreign films are usually victorious.

Frears said: "They were very anti-American, the jury. But I kept saying that American films are watched all over the world. This cut no ice with a few bolshy women on the jury."

However, 'The Queen' director admitted his biggest worry was falling asleep in the cinema after spending 10 days in darkened screening rooms before the top secret deliberations.

He confessed: "What you're terrified of is going to sleep so I had coffee brought to me to stay awake - it was manageable. I didn't write notes but I had a friend with me and she and I would discuss the film afterwards.

The jury is led by Spielberg and also includes 'Stoker' actress Nicole Kidman, 'Life of Pi' director Ang Lee, 'Django Unchained' star Christoph Waltz, with French actress Audrey Tautou serving as mistress of ceremonies.

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