Cannes: Xavier Dolan Wants to Look Past the "Glittery, Cheap Thrills"

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The director, seeing his sixth film, 'It’s Only the End of the World,' selected for official competition, said Cannes isn't just "champagne-flooded parties" and "endless PR."

Xavier Dolan knows a thing or two about the Cannes Film Festival: five of his six movies have been selected to screen on the Croisette.

And his latest, It's Only the End of the World, has just been selected as his second movie to screen in official competition after Mommy shared the Jury Prize in Cannes in 2014. So Dolan on Thursday insisted the prestigious southern France movie launchpad has been wrongly derided for too much glitz and glamor.

"I think every time people mention Cannes, they bring up the champagne-flooded parties, endless PR and other glittery, cheap thrills for limited imaginations," the 27-year-old Canadian filmmaker said in a statement.

"But what truly happens over there are new friendships and encounters and the inimitable feeling you get from having a film projected in that mythical theater, hearing everyone breathe with you, laugh with you, cry with you," he added.

Dolan has been a Cannes favorite ever since his first feature, I Killed My Mother — made when the actor-turned-filmmaker was only 19 years old — took top honors in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at Cannes in 2009. It's Only the End of the World, his sixth film, stars Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux.

The Canada-France co-production, produced by Nancy Grant, Dolan and Sylvain Corbeil, is an adaptation of a stage play by Jean-Luc Lagarce, and portrays a young author who, after a 12-year absence, returns to his native village to tell his family about his impending death.

Dolan will launch It's Only the End of the World in Cannes before he starts the cameras rolling in July on his first English-language project, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, to star Natalie Portman and Jessica Chastain.

Seville International, Les Films Seville's international sales division, is handling international sales on It's Only the End of the World, except in France, where it is represented by MK2 and distributed by Diaphana/MK2.