ARRI celebrates the 2011 Cannes Film Festival

ARRI has had a highly successful 64th Cannes International Film Festival, spreading awareness of the ALEXA camera system at several well-attended events and seeing a range of its products in use on many of the films that won awards.

Taking the Palme d’Or – the top prize of the festival – was The Tree of Life, from enigmatic but acclaimed director Terence Malick. Like all of Malick’s features, the film epitomizes visual storytelling and contains images of breathtaking beauty. In order to achieve such spellbinding imagery, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC, made use of ARRICAM Lite and Studio cameras as well as ARRI Master Prime lenses, supplied by ARRI CSC in New York.

The 35 mm ARRICAM camera system was also put to use by DoP Alain Marcoen on The Kid with a Bike (Le Gamin au vélo), from directors Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, which jointly won the Grand Prix with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Il était une fois en Anatolie).

An ARRIFLEX 435 was used to shoot The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanavicius, DoP Guillaume Schiffman), for which Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor award. DoP Yaron Scharf chose ARRIFLEX 535B and 235 cameras when he worked with director Joseph Cedar on Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), which picked up Best Screenplay. In recognition of the continued success of the 35 mm format, an ARRICAM was displayed on Fujifilm’s terrace at the Martinez hotel, where cinematographers, directors and producers congregated for coffee or a drink every afternoon.

 Meanwhile ALEXA, which has rapidly become the digital camera of choice for both film and television productions, made a profound impact at the festival this year. Two of the films in the main competition were shot with ALEXA: Drive, which was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and shot by Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, and Melancholia, directed by the controversial Lars von Trier and shot by Manuel Alberto Claro. Winding Refn won Best Director for Drive, while Kirsten Dunst was awarded Best Actress for her performance in Melancholia.

Another two films shot with ALEXA featured in the Un Certain Regard category: L'Exercice de l'Etat, from director Pierre Schoeller and DoP Julien Hirsch, and Et maintenant on va où?, from director Nadine Labaki and DoP Christophe Offenstein. In addition, Gust van den Berghe’s Blue Bird, shot with the ALEXA by Hans Bruch Jr., featured as part of the Director's Fortnight.

On the Saturday and Sunday in the middle of the festival, a ‘Happy Hour’ event was laid on by ARRI at the Plage Quinzane, with the Director’s Fortnight. An impressive variety of directors, producers, DoPs, postproduction professionals and rental house representatives attended from countries all over the world, including China, Germany, UK, France, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Denmark, Russia, USA, India and Colombia. The atmosphere was friendly and informal, allowing everyone a chance to play with and learn more about the ALEXA camera, which was on display.

The following Monday ARRI hosted a special screening of an ALEXA showreel containing clips from six recent feature films shot with the camera: The Three Musketeers 3D (dir. Paul W.S. Anderson, DoP Glen MacPherson); Melancholia (dir. Lars von Trier, DoP Manuel Alberto Claro); Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods 3D (dir. Christian Ditter, DoP Christian Rein); Half Life (dir. Tom Tykwer, DoP Christian Almesberger); Prom (dir. Joe Nussbaum, DoP Byron Shah); and Anonymous (dir. Roland Emmerich, DoP Anna Foerster).