5 Young Directors Who Smashed Cannes

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With the Cannes Film Festival wrapping up this Sunday, we select some of our favourite directors who had their films premiered at the world famous festival when they were super young

Ryan Gosling Lost River Feature Image

Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River, was recently showcased at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. We’re super Gos fans at Live, and to commemorate the young actor’s transition into directing, we collated a list of our favourite directors and rising stars – from cinematic legends to fresh faces in the industry – who have had their films played at the festival when they were super young (and for some, they still are!)

Stephen Soderbergh

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Cult director Stephen Soderbergh premiered his debut film, sex, lies, and videotape, at Cannes film festival when he was 26-years-old. The film went on to win the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ highest accolade, and decades later, sex, lies and videotape, remains a flagship addition to American cinema.

While Soderbergh has resigned from filmmaking to move onto other projects (after directing a hefty amount of highly successful films including the Ocean’s 11 remake and Magic Mike), he has left a stamp of originality on the film world that we’re sure will be carried through to the next generation of filmmakers.

Xavier Dolan

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Xavier Dolan’s sophomore feature, Heartbeats, showcased officially at Cannes in 2010 (though his debut, I Killed My Mother, screened at the Director’s Fortnight section a year prior). Since then, Xavier has become a festival circuit favourite and an important figure in cinema, particularly dealing with LBGT issues in an honest and real way. His fifth film, Mommy, is currently in competition for the Palme d’Or and is the frontrunner to take home the coveted award. Did we forget to mention that he’s 25?

Ryan Coogler

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Coogler’s debut, the heartbreaking Fruitvale Station, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 where it won the Best New Film award. Along with the film’s star Michael B. Jordan, Coogler was named by Time as a young person under 30 changing the world and we couldn’t agree more. We seriously can’t wait to see what this talented director has in the pipeline.

François Truffaut

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The 400 Blows was a landmark film that contributed heavily to the beginnings of the French New Wave era, a time in cinema which featured prominent directors like Jean Luc-Godard, Robert Bresson and Agnès Varda. Truffaut won the Best Director award at Cannes, aged 27, and has since left a legacy for directors worldwide.

Céline Sciamma

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Water Lilies was Sciamma’s first feature film, playing at Cannes back in 2007 when she was in her 20s. Now in her early 30s, Sciamma went on to direct a string of successful and poignant coming-of-age films including Tom Boy and this year’s Girlhood, which screened at the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes.

Who are some of your favourite young directors? Have we missed out any on this list? Leave your comments below!

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