The 65th annual Cannes Film Festival was held from May 16th to May 27th, 2012. Italian film director Nanni Moretti served as president of The Jury of Competition, while French actress Bérénice Bejo hosted the opening and closing ceremonies. The Jury of Competition welcomed fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier to its ranks, who was the first designer invited in the festival’s history. Other members included British actor Ewan McGregor, Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbass, French actress Emmanuelle Devos, British director and scriptwriter Andrea Arnold, and German actress Diane Kruger. The festival opened with the US film Moonrise Kingdom, directed by Wes Anderson, and closed with the late Claude Miller‘s final film Thérèse Desqueyroux.
The esteemed Palme d’Or was awarded to Austrian director Michael Haneke’s Amour — a film that centered on the bond between an elderly couple, one of whom suffers a stroke that paralyses one side of her body. Best Actress was awarded to Romanian actresses Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur for their performances in Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills, which also won Best Screenplay for its dramatic interpretation of a case of exorcism that ultimately killed a young member of a monastery in Moldova in 2005. Other films of note included The Paperboy starring Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman, Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt, Lawless starring Natalie Portman, and Moonrise Kingdom starring Bruce Willis.
This year Cannes was hit by torrential rain, seemingly unending for days. Many of the outdoor events and screenings were canceled during a four day downpour that put a damper on normally sun-soaked festival. Directors and starlets may have had to hit the red carpet under umbrellas, but there were still a lineup of stellar parties and events, including The Untitled Magazine’s event at the sought-after VIP Rooms, co-hosted with The Double Seven from New York.
The VIP Rooms hosted back-to-back events during the festival, including concert performances by P Diddy, Ronnie Woods and Cyndi Lauper. Mark Baker and Jeffrey Jah of The Double Seven teamed up with The Untitled Magazine for a blow-out event on the 21st, which featured an installation of fashion films from the magazine on large video screens throughout the venue while DJ Ruckus spun the decks. Videos by directors including: Jordan Doner, Zaiba Jabbar, Christian Witkin, Michael Daks, Monika Elkelv, Iris Brosch, Indira Cesarine, Dominique Palombo, Patrik Andersson, Michael Williams, Konstantinos Menelaou, and Dimitri Hyacinthe were featured at the event, which began at midnight and ran into the morning hours.
Other exclusive events during Cannes 65th festival included The Armani / Chopard Haiti Fundraiser hosted by Sean Penn, Denise Rich and Paul Allen’s private boat soirreés, and the Belvedere Vodka event with special concert performances by 80s pop star Cyndi Lauper and the legendary Ronnie Woods from the Rolling Stones. Also on the A-list radar was a sunset boat party hosted by Petra Nemcova and Michele Gonzalez, who DJ’d while guests were served champagne and canapes. The party was held in celebration of a forthcoming film, currently in production, although no one seemed to have many details.
Le Baron’s Cannes pop-up was one of the hottest venues in Cannes this year, hosting the CAA party among others. The outdoor terrace and indoor dance club were packed with the French film scene on a nightly basis. The sun came out just in time for the annual Replay party on the 22nd, which featured a brilliant performance by Scottish rock legends Simple Minds. Immediately following was an exclusive star-studded bash on P Diddy’s private boat in the port, boasting a guest list of stars and supermodels including Adrian Brody, Kelly Brook, Lady Victoria Hervey, Nellee Hooper, Ulf Ekberg, Benicio del Toro, Ana Beatriz Barros, Ozwald Boateng, and many more.
The following evening the event everyone was talking about was the annual De Grisogono party at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, one of the Riviera’s most stunning establishments. The all-star guest list included Heidi Klum, Irina Shayk, Milla Jovovich, Alec Baldwin, Leila Lopes, Isabeli Fontana and Ana Beatriz Barros in attendance at the gala. An haute couture runway show opened the evening during the seated dinner, featuring de Grisogono’s latest jewelry styled over elegant pastel gowns by Lithuanian designer Juozas Statkevicius. The after-party kicked off at midnight and featured performances by Taio Cruz, Gold Singers, and the epic Russian Evdokimov group.
While there was no shortage of extravagant fanfare, one of the most coveted invitations to the week of festivities was the 19th Annual amfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala, which broke records in raising nearly 11 million dollars towards HIV research, prevention, treatment, and education. Auctions were held to raise the funds in which sensational items were bid on, from a starring role in a short film by Karl Lagerfeld (which raked in €850,000) to an original Damien Hirst piece (which went for €700,000). Adrien Brody facilitated the auctioning-off of a motorcycle commissioned by Redemption Choppers as tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR’s late founding International Chairman. Bidding from the crowd was a spectacular guest list including Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Aishwarya Rai, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Gerard Butler, and Chris Tucker.
Musical performances included the sought-after indie band FUN, who opened the evening with their chart topping “We Are Young”, followed by performances by Aloe Blacc and Jessie J. For the first time in amfAR history, fashion editor Carine Roitfeld curated a runway show featuring supermodels Karolina Kurkova, Kate Upton, and Lily Donaldson in exquisite looks by designers including Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, and Christopher Kane. The entire wardrobe was auctioned off in a lot, which drew in an additional €300,000. An event for the ages, it was punctuated by an appropriately spectacular after-party presented by Super-Max and Rocky Malhotra, with artistic direction by Carl Hirschmann and Le Baron. The climax came when Sky Ferreira performed the introduction to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” before DJ Giorgio Moroder, who wrote many of Summer’s top tracks, launched into his set and inspired a raging dance floor late into the night.
Read More: Highlights from Cannes Film Festival 2011 with Indira Cesarine.