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Freeman, the Oscar-winning actor from Million Dollar Baby, Shawshank Redemption and Driving Miss Daisy, will be feted with a career homage at the upcoming edition of the fest, while Parker, the Sex and the City star, will receive Deauville’s Talent prize. The annual event, which is held in Northern France and focuses on American cinema, is set to run Aug. 31-Sept. 9.
Freeman is a particularly interesting choice for Deauville. The festival will honor the 81-year-old actor just months after an explosive CNN story in which eight women accused him of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment and creating an unsafe work environment. He has denied all charges and has threatened to sue CNN for the story.
Since the story broke, Freeman has been keeping a relatively low profile, though he continues to work unabated.
The Deauville Film Festival will see the actor testing the publicity waters before a possible press tour for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which is set for release Nov. 2.
Parker will join Kate Beckinsale and Jason Clarke as honorees for the festival’s Talent prize. Elle Fanning and Shailene Woodley will be presented with this year’s Rising Star award, and best-selling writer John Grisham will also be on hand to receive the fest’s literary prize.
Deauville on Thursday also announced its competition selection, with a lineup that includes Bart Layton’s art heist drama American Animals, Carlos Lopez Estrada’s Blindspotting, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s police shooting drama Monsters and Men, Jordana Spiro’s juvenile detention feature Night Comes On and Christina Choe’s identity drama Nancy, starring Andrea Riseborough, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd and John Leguizamo.
Also in the competition are Dead Women Walking, a drama set on death row from Hagar Ben-Asher; Jim Cumming’s single dad dramedy Thunder Road; Jeremiah Zagar’s three brothers coming-of-age tale We the Animals; A.J. Edward’s Friday’s Child, starring Imogen Poots, Ty Sheridan and Jeffrey Wright; Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, with Ben Foster; and Diane, the first fiction feature from Hitchcock/Truffaut documentary director Kent Jones.
Rounding out the 14 films are Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle, starring Kelly MacDonald; Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gael Garcia Bernal; and Jennifer Fox’s The Tale, starring Laura Dern, Elizabeth Debicki and Ellen Burstyn.
This year’s jury will be headed by Cesar-winning actress Sandrine Kiberlain; directors Stephane Brize, Xavier Legrand and Pierre Salvadori; actresses Leila Bekhti, Sabine Azema and Sara Giraudeau; singer Alex Beaupain; and novelist Leila Slimani.
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