Quebec director Xavier Dolan first made a name for himself at the Cannes Film Festival, but he won’t be returning in 2017.
After gaining international acclaim in 2009 for his film “I Killed My Mother”, Dolan would go on to win the Cannes Jury Prize in 2014 for “Mommy”. Despite receiving harsh criticism at this year’s festival for “It’s Only The End Of The World”, the film took home the Grand Prix prize. Rumours began swirling that the director would not show at the prestigious festival because of the poor response he faced over “It’s Only The End Of The World.” Now, Dolan has taken to Instagram to set the record straight on why he won’t be returning to Cannes in 2017, despite his past successes at the festival held each May in the South of France.
The 27-year-old director writes that his new film, the English-language “The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan” won’t be ready in time. With an all-star cast including Jessica Chastain, Bella Thorne, Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Sarah Gadon, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Michael Gambon and Thandie Newton, Dolan asserts that the film will still be in production next year.
“I will not be able to submit ‘John F. Donovan’ because we are shooting until June 2017,” he writes before addressing what he calls the “trolling” and “bullying” that echoes throughout Cannes.
“The culture of trolling, bullying and warranted hatred shouldn’t be an inextricable part of the cinematic or analytical adventure. But since it appears that we live in a time where they are unable to be dissociated, it is one’s right to choose different trajectories for his work, without necessarily acting out of frustration, or reprisal,” his Instagram post reads. “I prefer to focus on creation, and not reaction.”
While Dolan’s film will miss Cannes, the film may possibly be ready in time for a festival debut in Venice or Toronto.
In the meantime, Dolan says he is grateful over what Cannes has given his career and won’t shy away from future festivals over negative reaction.
“I am infinitely grateful to the Cannes Film Festival, and no criticism nor bitterness towards criticism can ever deter me to submitting my films to them,” he concludes.