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ARRI equipment behind the prized films at Cannes

At the Festival de Cannes 2021, the vast majority of winning and participating productions relied on ARRI equipment. At and surrounding the event, ARRI played a behind the scenes role and also sponsored several prizes.

From July 6 to 17, 2021, the 74th edition of the Festival de Cannes took place on the Croisette. As a supplier of products and services for the motion picture industry, it’s always important for ARRI to be present at the world’s most important film gathering—at the event and behind the scenes.

In fact, the vast majority of the participating—and winning—productions were shot with ARRI equipment, from the main competition through to Un Certain Regard and Director´s Fortnight to Critic’s Week. Out of the 24 films selected for Best Picture in the Main Competition at Cannes 2021, 19 were shot with ARRI cameras, 12 of which were captured with ALEXA—nine were shot with ARRI’s ALEXA Mini, two with ALEXA Mini LF, and one with ALEXA LF.

The top prize at Cannes, the Palme d’Or, this year went to director Julia Ducournau for “Titane.” DP Ruben Impens shot this feature film, with the ALEXA Mini LF camera. Julia Ducournau is only the second woman to ever win the Palme d’Or out of 74 editions of the festival! 

The Grand Prize Ex-Æquo was given to two productions: “Ghahreman” (A Hero), directed by Asghar Farhadi, shot by DP Ali Ghazi on ALEXA Mini LF with Signature Prime lenses; and “Hytti Nro 6” (Compartment NO.6), directed by Juho Kuosmanen and filmed by Jani-Petteri Passi with the ARRICAM LT provided by ARRI Rental. Two productions were honored with the Jury Prize Ex-Æquo: “Ha'Berech” (Ahed’s Knee), directed by Nadav Lapid and filmed by Shai Goldman on the ALEXA Mini; and “Memoria,” directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and shot by cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom on the ARRICAM LT.

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“Hytti Nro 6” (Compartment NO.6) DP Jani-Petteri Passi. Photo: © Henri Varis

The Grand Prize in the “Un Certain Regard” section was given to “Razzhimaya Kulaki” (Unclenching the Fists) directed by Kira Kovalenko and shot by DP Pavel Fomintsev on ARRI ALEXA Mini.

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DP Pavel Fomintsev with ARRI ALEXA Mini shooting “Razzhimaya Kulaki” (Unclenching the Fists).

The 53rd edition of Directors’ Fortnight was held in Cannes from July 7-17, 2021 with ARRI as an official sponsor. ARRI equipment, including the AMIRA and ALEXA Mini cameras with Alura Zoom lenses were on hand to help in live streaming the interviews that took place after each screening. The Camera d’Or which is awarded to a first film across all sections this year went to “Murina” by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović. Hélène Louvart was behind the camera on this film and choose the ARRI ALEXA Mini. ARRI cameras were also behind the scenes of the Europa Cinema Label awarded film “A Chiara.” DP Tim Curin, who chose the analog cameras ARRICAM 416 & SR3 comments: “For a naturalistic look, 16 mm film has a texture and color that I love, and for me, nothing in the digital world has quite the same feel. And the 416 and SR3 are just great handheld cameras. Handheld, 16 mm has an inherent connection to a documentary and realist cinematic tradition that we draw upon, and is one of our primary modes of shooting. With that as a starting base, on ‘A Chiara’ we would also switch to 35 mm or utilize stabilizing rigs in order to differentiate sections of the film visually, depending on the narrative and emotional moment. For lenses, we chose the Zeiss Ultra Primes, mainly for their sharpness and color rendition. There are plenty of other great lens sets I find beautiful, but some have the effect of over-glamorizing the subject. I find the clean sharpness of the Ultras has a great way of connecting the characters to their surroundings, grounding them in a specific reality, and this feeling of location is very important.”

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ARRI’s AMIRA camera filming the awards for Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. Photo: © Guillaume Lutz

ARRI is also a sponsor of the two CST Awards prizes awarded in Cannes: CST Artist-Technicial Prize and CST Young Female Film Technician Award. The Higher Technical Commission for Sound and Images (or CST) was the first ever association of film and audio-visual technicians in France. It was founded in 1944 and it promotes quality in technique and in the restitution of the cinematographic work seen by spectators. In 2021, the CST Award for Technical Artistry went to Vladislav Opeliants of Russia, for his work as Director of Photography on “Petrov’s Flu” by Kirill Serebrennikov. The CST Young Female Film Technician Award was awarded to Armance Durix, as Head Sound Engineer on “Mi Iubita, mon Amour” by Noémie Merlany.

Cinematographer Vladislav Opelyants shares his experience working with the ALEXA Mini LF: “Working on ‘Petrov’s Flu,’ our target was to create the most realistic film narrative, so the choice to use ARRI was obvious for me. I always try to create a light and color environment for each scene with as much detail as possible so that the footage does not need intensive color correction in post. The ALEXA Mini LF sensor captures every frame with the maximum fairness, making it possible to realize any artistic ideas. Very Informative shadows and perfect natural highlights make Mini LF an excellent tool for working in any lighting condition. When I have to shoot complex dynamic shots, it is critically important that the camera body, together with the lens, is compact, balanced, and easy to handle. The Mini LF has fully proven itself. He goes on to talk about his choice of lens: “‘Petrov’s Flu’ is not the first feature film where I used ARRI Master Anamorphic lenses to achieve the necessary optical result. These lenses differ significantly from other anamorphic lenses in their minimal optical distortion. This is critically important in some setups, for example, when shooting interiors. In addition, high-speed, crystal clear lenses allow me to avoid optical artifacts that are inappropriate for many scenes. In shooting action, Master Anamorphics provides maximum, precise focus control, allowing focus pullers to work out the most difficult takes accurately. At the same time, the nature of the image remains anamorphic, which was required for this project.”

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Director Kirill Serebrennikov (center with cap) giving instructions to Vladislav Opelyants (at the camera) on “Petrov’s Flu.” Photo: © Sergey Ponomarev

For all winners at a glance, please visit the official festival website https://www.festival-cannes.com. ARRI would like to congratulate all the participants and well-deserved prize recipients of Cannes 2021.

Opening Image: © Festival de Cannes 
Video: © Pierre Martinet, cameraman of the Quinzaine, shot this film on ARRI equipment. It features highlights of the festival as seen from a Director’s Fortnight perspective.

Enjoy a short video, shot on ARRI equipment, featuring highlights from the festival 

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