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Spike Lee KKK film to premiere at Cannes

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    Jordan Peele and Spike LeeImage copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Spike Lee (right) presented Jordan Peele with an award at last month’s Independent Spirit Awards

    A Spike Lee film about the Ku Klux Klan, produced by Get Out’s Jordan Peele, will screen in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

    BlacKkKlansman, starring John David Washington – son of Denzel – as a cop who infiltrated the KKK, is one of 18 titles up for the Palme d’Or award.

    Acclaimed French director Jean-Luc Godard also has a film in contention at the 12-day festival next month.

    Yet there are no British films in contention for the event’s main prize.

    Only Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War comes close, being a Polish/French/UK co-production with backing from Film4.

    Under the Silver Lake, starring Andrew Garfield and directed by David Robert Mitchell, is the only other US film in competition.

    Netflix no-show

    Italy’s Matteo Garrone, Lebanon’s Nadine Labaki and Iranian director Jafar Panahi also have films in competition.

    Labaki is one of only three women contesting for the Palme d’Or, the others being France’s Eva Husson and Italy’s Alice Rohrwacher.

    Unlike last year, there are no Netflix titles in contention at Cannes after they were banned from competition for refusing to release the films in cinemas.

    They were told they could be included outside competition – but Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has since told Variety it was “pointless” for them to show at the festival at all.

    The inclusion of two of the streaming giant’s productions at last year’s event proved controversial, with the Netflix logo being booed during screenings.

    Fremaux said that Cold War was an Amazon Studios production and that it was “welcome” at Cannes.

    Image copyright Festival de Cannes
    Image caption This year’s poster features a scene from 1965’s Pierrot le Fou

    At a press conference on Thursday, festival director Thierry Fremaux suggested more films might be added to the line-up before the event begins on 8 May.

    He also pointed out that the 2017 winner – The Square – had not been announced as part of the initial line-up.

    There had been speculation that British director Mike Leigh’s new film about the Peterloo massacre of 1819 would receive a prestigious competition place.

    Fremaux pleaded with Iran to allow Panahi – the dissident director of Taxi, winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin – to attend the festival.

    Fremaux said French authorities supported the festival’s bid to Tehran to allow the director – banned from leaving his country – to attend to support his new film, Three Faces.

    Image copyright AFP
    Image caption Cate Blanchett is chairing the jury this year

    The festival will open on 8 May with Everybody Knows, a psychological thriller starring husband and wife actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

    Actress Cate Blanchett will chair the jury that will decide the recipients of the festival’s main awards.

    As previously announced, a screening of the latest Star Wars spin-off Solo will take place at the event.

    Earlier this week the festival released this year’s official poster, which features an image of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film Pierrot le Fou.

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