Lexus and Weinstein team up for new talent short films screening

Alex Dymoke views the work of five up and coming young directors in Cannes

AT THE official announcement of the Oscar nominations last year, Seth Macfarlane congratulated the five nominees for best actress. “Now you've been nominated for an Oscar,” he said, “you no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein”. He was executive producer of Pulp Fiction, Lord Of The Rings, The King's Speech and The Artist. His films have amassed over 300 Oscar nominations and last year Time magazine included him in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In Cannes Weinstein has a nickname: the king. In Hollywood he has another nickname: God.

“My father told me, ‘once you have experienced success you then have a responsibility to give a little bit back’,” he said at Cannes on Sunday afternoon. That’s why he teamed up with Lexus for the Life Is Amazing series of short films that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. The five short films were made by young, up and coming filmmakers from the US, Europe, Asia Pacific, China and Japan who were jointly selected by Harvey Weinstein himself and The Weinstein Company’s David Glasser in partnership with Lexus. Special Problems, Justin Tipping, Christina Molino, Chan Chung Ki and Mitsuyo Miyazaki were handpicked based on their previous work and were asked to create a short film, three to six minutes in length, that captures the essence of the theme Life Is Amazing.

At a press conference before the premiere, the five filmmakers were joined by Weinstein himself and director Tim Burton (Alice In Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands). Burton was enthusiastic about the shorts. “All these films I completely enjoyed. Each one was different, each one came from the heart, each one was emotional, each one was beatifully shot. I was really blown away by each and everyone of these.”

The films premiered at the Olympia cinema in front of a star-studded audience including Clive Owen, Naomi Harris and Zoe Saldana, all of whom joined the filmmakers for the Lexus and Weinstein party later that evening.

Weinstein was also enthusiastic about the project: “For a young filmmaker to showcase their film during Cannes is an amazing achievement, and we’re proud to have partnered with Lexus in seeing through these evocative films and enabling them to be shown on this world stage.”