Cannes Film Festival Embraces TV With Screenings of 'Twin Peaks,' 'Top of the Lake 2'

New and Returning Shows for 2017  -Twin Peaks- H 2016
Courtesy of Twin Peaks Productions

The austere French festival had previously resisted screening series but will showcase the small screen of two former Palme d'Or winners in its 70th edition.

After years of resisting the allure of high-end television, the world's most prestigious film festival has strongly embraced the small screen.

On Thursday, the Cannes Film Festival announced it would hold special screenings of two TV series as part of its 70th edition, which runs May 17-28.

David Lynch's new Twin Peaks revival for Showtime and Jane Campion's Top of the Lake: China Girl, the second season of the acclaimed mystery series from Sundance Channel and the BBC, will screen in Cannes this year. Cannes will screen the first two episodes of Twin Peaks and the whole of the six-episode season of Top of the Lake: China Girl.

The new Twin Peaks series picks up 25 years after the events of the seminal 1990s series and stars Kyle MacLachlan, Madchen Amick and Dana Ashbrook. Top of the Lake: China Girl, which moves the series' action from New Zealand to Australia, stars Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman and Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie.

The choice of Lynch and Campion is no accident. Both are former Palme d'Or winners. Lynch took home Cannes' top honor in 1990 for Wild at Heart. Campion won for The Piano in 1993 and is still the only female director to win the Palme d'Or. Campion and Lynch both co-created their respective series, Campion sharing writing credit with Australian director Gerard Lee, Lynch with American Mark Frost.

Other major international film festivals, including Berlin, Venice and Toronto, have been featuring television series among their official line-ups for several years now, but Cannes was the last big holdout. The austere French festival had long insisted TV had no place in a celebration of the “7th art” of cinema.