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22 February 2024

Five rising stars to watch for at Cannes film festival

Camila Morrone (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 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 Lucila 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"

Mati Diop

The first black African woman to compete 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 made a documentary about her uncle's ground-breaking story about a couple who try to ride their bike all the way to France.

Now she is making history herself, she told the Hollywood Reporter she feels a "mixture of apprehension and joy... What I represent exceeds me and doesn't belong to me."

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

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 film "set in the world of old sea-faring myths".

Jessica Hausner

The Austrian director who began as a script assistant on 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.