Cannes is... the beach, the films, and of course Gérard Depardieu, a monumental figure in the story of the Festival. The French actor appears alongside Tim Roth and Sam Neill in Frédéric Auburtin's United Passions, which the public will see for the first time this evening. A month before the World Cup in Brazil, it's time to get warmed up at the Cinéma de la Plage.
Director Frédéric Auburtin set out to portray the story of the impassioned football fans who decided to unite all the sport's followers together and found an international football federation, now known the world over as FIFA, which went on to give rise to the first World Cup. Gérard Depardieu plays Jules Rimet, who presided the organisation for 33 years and who, in 1904, worked in tandem with his European colleagues to make this grandiose project a reality. The actor co-stars with Tim Roth as Sepp Blatter, the 8th President of FIFA and Sam Neill, who plays the role of João Havelange.
Frédéric Auburtin's collaboration with Gérard Depardieu goes back a long way: the director earned his spurs during the filming of Jean de Florette, in which the actor played one of his earliest roles. In1999, Gérard Depardieu and Frédéric Auburtin worked together on The Bridge, in which Depardieu starred alongside Carole Bouquet and Charles Berling. Their partnership continued with San Antonio in 2003, starring Gérard Depardieu and Gérard Lanvin. In 2005, Frédéric Auburtin directed a short film of sketches entitled Paris, Je t’aime, featuring the American actress Gena Rowlands, who also wrote the screenplay for the short entitled Quartier Latin. Gérard Depardieu and Gena Rowlands played an ex-couple who meet up again in a Parisian restaurant, having gone their separate ways and rebuilt their lives.