American director & writer
Ryan Coogler was born in Oakland (California). He returns to the Festival de Cannes a different director to the one who presented his first feature film, Fruitvale Station (2013), five years ago. Fruitvale Station tells the story of the last 24 hours of the life of Oscar Grant, who was shot to death by a police officer at Oakland's Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station. Developed and produced by Forest Whitaker, the film won the top audience and several other awards, among them grand jury awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival and the Un Certain Regard Prix de l’Avenir at the Festival de Cannes, handed out by Thomas Vinterberg, then President of the Jury. Coogler has since co-written and directed the seventh film in the Rocky series, Creed (2015), and the internationally acclaimed Black Panther (2018) making him the youngest Marvel Studios filmmaker. Black Panther was revolutionary in many regards. Upon release, the film was an overwhelming success, grossing the fifth largest opening US weekend box-office results of all time. Michael B. Jordan, who stars in all of Ryan Coogler's films, will be at Cannes with Fahrenheit 451, directed by Ramin Bahrani.
British director, writer & producer
Christopher Nolan is a multi-award-winning director, writer and producer whose varied filmography includes some of the most innovative and successful motion pictures of the early 21st century. Beginning with his breakout feature Memento, which earned Nolan an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, his films have captivated critics and audiences alike. Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014) and the Dark Knight Trilogy (whose central film, The Dark Knight, received eight Oscar nominations) have all left their mark on contemporary cinema. Last year, Christopher Nolan made headlines again with Dunkirk, which was also nominated for several Oscars. Nolan is a great cinephile and a loving connoisseur of Stanley Kubrick and 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 50th anniversary of whose release he will be celebrating the following day (May 13). He also defends and carries on the tradition of film, of “celluloid” and projections on a large screen; Dunkirk had the biggest release on 70mm of the past 25 years.
American actor & producer
John Travolta’s breakout performance in the blockbuster Saturday Night Fever (1977) brought equally strong emotion, surprise and pleasure as his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, which was awarded Palme d’or in 1994 at the Festival de Cannes. A two-time Academy award nominee, John Travolta has starred in a number of momentous films. His credits include a vast filmography: the long-running musical Grease, the Brian de Palma thrillers Carrie and Blow Out, Get Shorty by Barry Sonnenfeld, The Look Who’s Talking trilogy, Broken Arrow and Face/Off by John Woo, The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick and The Taking of Pelham 123 by Tony Scott. In 1998 he opened the Festival de Cannes with Emma Thompson with Primary Colors by Mike Nichols. John Travolta also acted and produced in the series American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson. He recently completed filming on Moose, and will next be seen in the crime drama Gotti by Kevin Connolly, which will have its World Premiere at a Special Gala Screening in the Palais des Festivals at Cannes.
British actor & director
Gary Oldman was born in London; he is one of the most celebrated actors of his generation on both stage and screen. He gained his first starring film role in Meantime (1983). In the 1990s his credits include JFK (1991), Dracula (1992), True Romance (1993), Léon (1994), The Fifth Element (1997) and Air Force One (1997), playing the villain. He is also a writer: Oldman wrote and directed Nil by Mouth produced by Luc Besson, presented in competition at Cannes (1997), for which Kathy Burke won the Best Actress prize. Oldman is also known for his roles as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series, as James Gordon in The Dark Knight Trilogy and as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) by Thomas Alfredson. A year ago, his phenomenal performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour brought him international acclaim and recognition; he was awarded the Best Actor Academy Award in March 2018.