Five rising stars to watch for at Cannes film festival

Cannes (France) (AFP) –


With the Cannes film festival's main competition bursting with big-name stars and directors like Quentin Tarantino and Terrence Malick, we pick five rising talents to watch out for at this year's festival:

- Camila Morrone -

Up to now she may be best known as Leonardo DiCaprio's impossibly glamorous girlfriend, but the Argentinian model is about to make a name for herself as an actress to be reckoned with.

Her stand-out performance as a daughter of a opioid-addicted Iraq veteran in "Mickey and the Bear" brings real depth to the US indie film, which is showing in the festival's ACID section.

Morrone, 21, has not picked her acting talent -- nor her looks -- up off the ground.

Both her parents were models and her mother Lucia Sola is a television star in Buenos Aires, although the 43-year-old is probably best known as Al Pacino's erstwhile partner.

The pair are no longer together -- the 75-year-old Pacino having taken up with a younger actress last year. Morrone had regarded him as her "stepfather" during their nine years her mother and Pacino were together.

The two will be reunited on the Cannes red carpet with Pacino starring in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".

- Robert Eggers -

His debut film "The Witch" is regarded as a modern horror classic, and the famously obsessive young US director seems to have made no compromises for his second, "The Lighthouse", which is premiering in the Directors' Fortnight.

Conditions on the set were so harsh, according to Robert Pattinson, who heads the cast alongside Willem Dafoe, that it was the "closest I've come to punching a director", the actor admitted.

An exhausted Pattinson described how he remonstrated with Eggers after he had to do one take five times on a freezing Nova Scotia beach.

"I feel like you're just spraying a fire hose in my face," he told the director.

"And he was like, 'I was spraying a fire hose in your face.' It was like some kind of torture," said Pattinson.

The pair are still firm friends, however, with the star sworn to silence on the plot of the historical black-and-white horror "set in the world of old sea-faring myths".

- Waad al-Kateab -

The Syrian documentary maker faced an uphill struggle bringing her film to Cannes.

"For Sama" records five years of al-Kateab's own life as an aspiring journalist in her beseiged hometown of Aleppo, marrying one of the last doctors in the city and giving birth to her daughter, to whom the film is dedicated.

The documentary is a kind of letter to the little girl, explaining how she was born into the conflict and what happened to her home.

Al-Kateab, who now lives in London, won an Emmy award in 2017 for her films from inside Aleppo for Britain's Channel 4 News, which are believed to be the most watched of any reports from the war.

Her shocking footage of the struggle to save babies and children in the city's final hospital -- in which she ended up living -- brought home the horror inflicted on civilians.

- Jessica Hausner -

The Austrian director who wrote Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" is the running for the Palme d'Or with her first film in English, "Little Joe".

This science-based chiller with Ben Whishaw, Emily Beecham and Kerry Fox about a genetically engineered plant which affects every living creature it comes into contact with could well be her break-out film.

After making her Cannes debut with "Lovely Rita" way back in 2001, Hausner, now 46, has slowly built a glowing reputation with a handful of films such as "Hotel", "Amour Fou" and "Lourdes", which picked up four prizes at Venice in 2009.

- Mati Diop -

The only African in the race for Cannes' top prize, actress-turned-director Diop comes from Senegalese film royalty.

She is the niece of Djibril Diop Mambety, the pioneering maker of "Touki Bouki", a 1973 film premiered at Cannes which went on to inspire Beyonce and Jay-Z.

The pop power couple referenced the movie, in the form of the bull-horn handlebars of its heroes' motorbike, in the poster for their 2014 tour "On The Run II".

French-born Diop, 36, the daughter of musician Wasis Diop, has already make a documentary about her uncle's ground-breaking story about a couple who try to ride their bike all the way to France.

Her film, "Atlantics", is also about a group who decide to leave Senegal for a better life in Europe.