‘The French Dispatch’ starring Lyna Khoudri up for Palme d’Or at Cannes

‘The French Dispatch’ starring Lyna Khoudri up for Palme d’Or at Cannes
Lyna Khoudri and Timothee Chalamet in ‘The French Dispatch.’ Supplied
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Updated 31 May 2021

‘The French Dispatch’ starring Lyna Khoudri up for Palme d’Or at Cannes

‘The French Dispatch’ starring Lyna Khoudri up for Palme d’Or at Cannes

DUBAI: US filmmaker Wes Anderson’s critically lauded “The French Dispatch,” starring French-Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri, is up for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival, it’s been announced. 

The film will be competing against “Annette,” a musical film by French director Leos Carax that stars Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, and Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta.” 

The full lineup of the official competition will be announced on June 3. 

The last Cannes Film Festival took place in 2019, when the prestigious Palme d'Or went to South Korean film “Parasite” by Bong Joon-ho.

“The French Dispatch” was originally slated for release in July 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the release was pushed to October 2020, it was later postponed indefinitely. 

It is set to join the line-up of this summer’s Cannes Film Festival, alongside the other films that were meant to premiere at the 2020 edition of the festival before it was canceled.

The 74th annual Cannes Film Festival will kick off on July 6 with Spike Lee presiding over the competition jury.




The film is scheduled to release in theaters on Oct. 22, 2021. Supplied

Meanwhile, the comedic drama, from Searchlight Pictures, has been scheduled to release on Oct. 22, 2021 in theaters, meaning that Khoudri is set to make her Hollywood debut.

Anderson’s tenth feature sees the actress star alongside a cast that includes Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe and more.

The comedy revolves around a group of journalists at a fictional American newspaper bureau based in a fictional 20th century French city, led by Bill Murray in a starring role as Arthur Howitzer Jr., the editor of the French Dispatch.




Khoudri plays a student activist and Chalamet’s love interest in the film. Supplied

Tracing three separate storylines, the whimsical film brings to life a collection of stories from the journal with the support of a stellar cast that also includes Benicio Del Toro, Frances McDormand, Adrien Brody, Kate Winslet and Elisabeth Moss.

Khoudri is set to play a student activist named Juliette, who is Chalamet’s love interest in the film.

According to Anderson, her segment is “inspired by ‘The Events in May: A Paris Notebook,’ Mavis Gallant’s two-part article from 1968” about the student occupation protests that rocked the nation.

Speaking to L’Officiel USA, Khoudri reveals how she landed her role in the film.




The 27-year-old actress first rose to prominence in her role as Nedjma in Mounia Meddour’s “Papicha.” Supplied

 

"Wes had never seen me on a screen before. It all started with a video to be sent to production. One night I filmed myself with my cell phone. I had to introduce myself. I talked about participating in a job at my high school in Saint-Ouen: I skipped classes and went dancing on the street with my friends,” she said. 

While waiting for a response from the production, she filmed a short film with friends in Algeria. “It was my first time in the desert, I was amazed. The rest of the world seemed so far away. I only looked at my emails at night. My agent was looking for me everywhere to tell me that I’d got the part. But I still didn't know anything about my role! Nor who my co stars would be,” she revealed.

The 27-year-old actress first rose to prominence in her role as Nedjma in Mounia Meddour’s “Papicha.” For her work in the film, she won the Orizzonti Award for Best Actress at the 74th Venice Film Festival and she was nominated in the Cesar Awards’ Most Promising Actress category.