Montreal

Quebecers to watch at Cannes 2016

The 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival gets underway today, with Quebec's contingent led by Xavier Dolan. At the tender age of 28, he's already won six prizes at the festival.

69th edition of Cannes film festival gets underway today

Xavier Dolan, seen here as a jury member at Cannes last year, is back in the official competition this year with his latest offering, It's Only the End of the World. (Yves Herman/Reuters)

The 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival gets underway today, with Quebec's contingent led by Xavier Dolan. By the tender age of 26, he'd already won six prizes at the festival. Now 28, he's back with his latest feature film, Juste la fin du monde.

The festival runs May 11 to 22.

Here are the  Quebecers to watch on the Promenade de la Croisette in the coming days:

Xavier Dolan

Montreal director Xavier Dolan returns to Cannes for the sixth time.

After a stint on the jury in 2015, Dolan is back with a feature film in the Official Competition for the Palme d'Or.

He's up against some stiff competition, including new films from Jim Jarmusch, Ken Loach, Pedro Almadovar, Olivier Assayas, Sean Penn, the Dardenne brothers and Denmark's Nicolas Winding Refn, with a new horror thriller starring Nicole Kidman.

Quebec director Xavier Dolan is one to watch for at Cannes this year. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Juste la fin du monde (It's Only the End of the World) is based on a French play by Jean-Luc Lagarce and stars the A-list of French cinema: Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye and Gaspard Ulliel.  

Dolan is seen as one of the Cannes' protégés, taking home the Prix du jury ex-aequo in 2014 for Mommy.

Actor Suzanne Clément shared the festival's Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress for her starring role in Laurence Anyways, directed by Dolan in 2012.

Dolan's first feature J'ai tué ma mère won the Prix Regards Jeunes, among other prizes, at the festival in 2009.

It's Only the End of the World premieres on May 19 at Cannes.

Xavier Dolan talks to Jeanette Kelly about video for Hello by Adele 8:15

Dolan was asked by Adele's record label to make the video for the first single for her album, 25. So he accepted! 8:15

Kim Nguyen

The director makes his Cannes debut in the Director's Fortnight (Quinzaine des réalisateurs) section with a film shot in English in Iqaluit.

Two Lovers and a Bear stars Canadian actor Tatiana Maslany (who plays clone upon clone of herself in Orphan Black) and American actor Dane DeHaan (Life).

In the name of authenticity, Nguyen shot outdoors in an Arctic winter. Shooting in temperatures that dropped to minus 50 C with the windchill, there's no question but that's real steam coming his actors' mouths. 

Director Kim Nguyen is seen on the set of Two Lovers and a Bear. (Philippe Bosse/Max Films)

"It came to the point where my makeup artist would literally grab my shoulders and say, 'You have 30 seconds,'" Nguyen said in an interview. "Because Tatiana ...[in a] homage to water-skiing, where she is skiing on the ice and being pulled by a snowmobile ... would go 30 seconds before risking severe frostbite on her face."

Nguyen's previous feature, Rebelle (War Witch), won a special mention by at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012 and the Ours d'argent for Best Actress for Rachel Mwanza — a teenager he rescued from the streets of Kinshasa after seeing her in a documentary about that city's street kids.

Rebelle was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2013.

Montreal director Kim Nguyen chats with CBC about War Witch's nomination for best foreign film 5:37

Sophie Nélisse

Montreal actor Sophie Nélisse plays the lead in a Canadian thriller, Mean Dreams, which is also in competition at the Director's Fortnight.  It's directed by Nathan Morlando and stars Bill Paxton and Colm Feore.

Sophie Nélisse was the youngest actor to ever win a Genie.

The screenplay was co-written by a pair from Montreal's West Island: Ryan Grassby and Kevin Coughlin.

Nélisse has been to the Oscars in 2012 with Monsieur Lazhar by Philippe Falardeau, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. She was the youngest to ever win a Genie for her role in that film.

​François Jaros

Filmmaker François Jaros is invited to the competition at the Semaine de la critique (International Critics' Week) with his short film Oh What A Wonderful Feeling, about a young woman who spends a night at a truck stop.

He calls his 14-minute film a "strange coming of age": A young woman goes from childhood to adulthood in a single night, from "prey to predator."

François Jaros (right) directed the short film Oh What a Wonderful Feeling, produced by Fanny Laure-Malo (left.) (Jeanette Kelly/CBC)

Jaros is already an award-winning filmmaker with two Quebec Screen Awards for Toutes des connes, a 5-minute story about a breakup, and Maurice, a portrait of a dying man.

Alisi Telengut

The Montrealer who has come the longest distance to get to Cannes is Mongolian-born Alisi Telengut.  She arrived at Concordia University six years ago to study animation and has since won several awards.

Her short film Nutag – Homeland, done in under-the-camera animation, will be screened as part of Telefilm Canada's showcase Canada: Not Short on Talent.

Alisi Telengut's latest short animated film called Nutag Homeland has just been selected by Telefilm Canada to be included in the sixth edition of 'Canada: Not Short on Talent' showcase at The Cannes Film Festival. 13:11