Oh Cannes-ada: The Croisette Is Crawling With Canucks

AP Photo/Matt Sayles
Ryan Gosling

From Ryan Gosling to Ryan Reynolds and David Cronenberg, the Canadians are coming to compete -- and party.

The Canadians, traditionally low-key on the Croisette, are taking Cannes partying to new heights this year. They will squeeze in several receptions and bashes as they cheer three of their own — David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan and Xavier Dolan — in competition, with another, Ryan Gosling, in Un Certain Regard.

Because much in Cannes happens on the beach, the Ontario Media Development Corp. and the Toronto International Film Festival will co-host a bash on the terrace at La Plage des Palmes on May 16. A who’s who of Canadian film is expected, including TIFF’s Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey and OMDC president and CEO Karen Thorne-Stone. “We are absolutely delighted to have two OMDC-funded films in competition at Cannes this year,” says Thorne-Stone, referring to Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars and Egoyan’s The Captive. “David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan are truly visionary and talented filmmakers as well as national treasures!”

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Others expected to be part of the Canadian contingent include James Weyman, OMDC manager of industry initiatives; Kristine Murphy, OMDC director of industry development; noted producers Marty Katz and Mark Montefiore; and filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, who will serve as jury president for the fifth edition of the Queer Palm, awarded to the best LGBT-themed film in the Cannes lineup.

A-listers expected include Cronenberg and his Maps cast — including Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska and Olivia Williams — and Egoyan and his cast, led by Canadians Ryan Reynolds and Scott Speedman along with Rosario Dawson and Mireille Enos. Gosling will unveil his directorial debut Lost River, a dark fantasy from Warner Bros. that stars Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes and Matt Smith.

Dolan, a past Un Certain Regard contender and Queer Palm winner who has made no secret of his desire to move up to the official competition, is expected along with his Mommy cast, including Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clement.

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Handling and Bailey will take measure of the competition titles, with Cronenberg’s, Egoyan’s and Dolan’s entries likely to screen in Toronto in the fall as they look to that festival’s Roy Thomson Hall to make them awards-season contenders.

Also flying the maple leaf in Cannes will be director Stephane Lafleur, whose latest film, Tu Dors Nicole, will screen in Directors’ Fortnight, and his Quebec stars Francis La Haye and Julianne Cote. Remi St-Michel’s short film Petit Frere will bow as part of International Critics’ Week, and Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre’s animated short Jutra will debut in Directors’ Fortnight.

In addition to cheering on their filmmakers, the Canadians will network with foreign producers while touting the benefits of co-producing with Canada. The country’s generous tax-credit structure, at the federal and provincial levels, sets up well for co-production treaties.