ARRI equipment behind the prized films at Cannes

Jul 26, 2021
DP Pavel Fomintsev with ARRI ALEXA Mini shooting Razzhimaya Kulaki (Unclenching the Fists).

At the Festival de Cannes 2021, the majority of winning and participating productions relied on ARRI equipment. At and surrounding the event, ARRI played a behind the scenes role and also sponsored several prizes.

From July 6 to 17, 2021, the 74th edition of the Festival de Cannes took place on the Croisette. As a supplier of products and services for the motion picture industry, ARRI are often present at the world’s most important film gathering—at the event and behind the scenes.

The vast majority of the participating—and winning—productions were shot with ARRI equipment, from the main competition through to Un Certain Regard and Directors Fortnight to Critic’s Week. Out of the 24 films selected for Best Picture in the Main Competition at Cannes 2021, 19 were shot with ARRI cameras, 12 of which were captured with ALEXA—nine were shot with ARRI’s ALEXA Mini, two with ALEXA Mini LF, and one with ALEXA LF.

The top prize at Cannes, the Palme d’Or, this year went to director Julia Ducournau for Titane. DP Ruben Impens shot this feature film, with the ALEXA Mini LF camera. Julia Ducournau is only the second woman to ever win the Palme d’Or out of 74 editions of the festival.

The Grand Prize Ex-Æquo was given to two productions: Ghahreman (A Hero), directed by Asghar Farhadi, shot by DP Ali Ghazi on ALEXA Mini LF with Signature Prime lenses; and Hytti Nro 6 (Compartment NO.6), directed by Juho Kuosmanen and filmed by Jani-Petteri Passi with the ARRICAM LT provided by ARRI Rental. Two productions were honoured with the Jury Prize Ex-Æquo: Ha’Berech (Ahed’s Knee), directed by Nadav Lapid and filmed by Shai Goldman on the ALEXA Mini; and Memoria, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and shot by cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom on the ARRICAM LT.

The Grand Prize in the Un Certain Regard section was given to Razzhimaya Kulaki (Unclenching the Fists) directed by Kira Kovalenko and shot by DP Pavel Fomintsev on ARRI ALEXA Mini.

The 53rd edition of Directors’ Fortnight was held in Cannes from July 7-17, 2021 with ARRI as an official sponsor. ARRI equipment, including the AMIRA and ALEXA Mini cameras with Alura Zoom lenses were on hand to help in live streaming the interviews that took place after each screening.

The Camera d’Or which is awarded to a first film across all sections this year went to Murina by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović. Hélène Louvart was behind the camera on this film and choose the ARRI ALEXA Mini. ARRI cameras were also behind the scenes of the Europa Cinema Label awarded film A Chiara.

DP Tim Curin, who chose the analogue cameras ARRICAM 416 & SR3 commented: “For a naturalistic look, 16 mm film has a texture and colour that I love, and for me, nothing in the digital world has quite the same feel. And the 416 and SR3 are just great handheld cameras. Handheld, 16 mm has an inherent connection to a documentary and realist cinematic tradition that we draw upon, and is one of our primary modes of shooting. With that as a starting base, on A Chiara we would also switch to 35 mm or utilize stabilizing rigs in order to differentiate sections of the film visually, depending on the narrative and emotional moment. For lenses, we chose the Zeiss Ultra Primes, mainly for their sharpness and colour rendition. There are plenty of other great lens sets I find beautiful, but some have the effect of over-glamorizing the subject. I find the clean sharpness of the Ultras has a great way of connecting the characters to their surroundings, grounding them in a specific reality, and this feeling of location is very important.”

Video: © Pierre Martinet, cameraman of the Quinzaine, shot this film on ARRI equipment. It features highlights of the festival as seen from a Director’s Fortnight perspective.

ARRI is also a sponsor of the two CST Awards prizes awarded in Cannes: CST Artist-Technicial Prize and CST Young Female Film Technician Award. The Higher Technical Commission for Sound and Images (or CST) was the first ever association of film and audio-visual technicians in France. It was founded in 1944 and it promotes quality in technique and in the restitution of the cinematographic work seen by spectators. In 2021, the CST Award for Technical Artistry went to Vladislav Opeliants of Russia, for his work as DP on Petrov’s Flu by Kirill Serebrennikov. The CST Young Female Film Technician Award was awarded to Armance Durix, as head sound engineer on Mi Iubita, mon Amour by Noémie Merlany.

Cinematographer Vladislav Opelyants shared his experience working with the ALEXA Mini LF: “Working on Petrov’s Flu, our target was to create the most realistic film narrative, so the choice to use ARRI was obvious for me. I always try to create a light and colour environment for each scene with as much detail as possible so that the footage does not need intensive colour correction in post. The ALEXA Mini LF sensor captures every frame with the maximum fairness, making it possible to realize any artistic ideas. Very Informative shadows and perfect natural highlights make Mini LF an excellent tool for working in any lighting condition. When I have to shoot complex dynamic shots, it is critically important that the camera body, together with the lens, is compact, balanced, and easy to handle. The Mini LF has fully proven itself.!

Opelyants added: “Petrov’s Flu is not the first feature film where I used ARRI Master Anamorphic lenses to achieve the necessary optical result. These lenses differ significantly from other anamorphic lenses in their minimal optical distortion. This is critically important in some setups, for example, when shooting interiors. In addition, high-speed, crystal clear lenses allow me to avoid optical artefacts that are inappropriate for many scenes. In shooting action, Master Anamorphics provides maximum, precise focus control, allowing focus pullers to work out the most difficult takes accurately. At the same time, the nature of the image remains anamorphic, which was required for this project.”

For all winners click here.

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