A Sneak Peak at the 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival

In just a few days the 69th Annual Cannes (that's pronounced CAN) Film Festival will kickoff with another great lineup of independent films from around the globe.
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In just a few days the 69th Annual Cannes (that's pronounced CAN) Film Festival will kickoff with another great lineup of independent films from around the globe.

While Cannes is often seen as another playground for celebrities, it's also one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Some films showcased at this festival are by seasoned directors', while others are making their directorial debut.

Four of the twenty two films in the Official Selection are from the US ; two directed by familiar faces.

Woody Allen's latest romantic comedy, Café Society is the opening film this year. "Café" is about a young New Yorker who moves to Hollywood to find work in the film industry in the 1930s. Allen casts several favorites including Steve Carrell, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Parkey Posey and Jesse Eisenberg.

Sean Penn made his directorial debut in 1991 at Cannes, and is back this year with The Last Face. Charlize Theron (Penn's former girlfriend) and Javier Bardem bring this drama to life as they face the challenges of humanitarianism and life with civil unrest in Africa.

While there are 22 films to see in the Official Selection, there are numerous other Out of Competition films presented around town. They vary from documentaries, short films, comedies, dramas and more. Here is a sneak peak of just a few...

Scribblings: First time filmmaker, Oscar Barbay (writer and director) offers this short psychological thriller about a struggling writer who takes in a sexy lodger to help pay the bills. The lodger slowly starts to move in on his life and their relationship begins to spin out of control. It first opened in festivals and Kenya, Nigeria and Johannesburg and has finally made its way to Cannes.

Finding My Lebanon: An interesting film about seasoned director Mark Abouzeid's personal discovery of finding his Lebanese roots.

After the death of his father, Abouzeid was determined to learn more about his heritage. He traveled to Lebanon to learn more about the country, it's culture and it's church, as seen through the eyes of his father.

Abouzeid has traveled the world, living in over 30 countries. He's spent the last 15 years of his life capturing the living culture and intangible heritage of people around the world. He has exhibited in numerous museums and is considered one of the top 21st century artists by various media channels.

Black Movie Night: Sterling Milan's film touches on the recent protests of the Oscars.

First time actor Akintola Jiboyewa and Sheria Irving (The Good Wife, Romeo & Juliet) decide to celebrate a night of black cinema instead of the Oscars and are caught between their right to protest the lack of diversity, and their own ambitions. Everyone can follow his or her dreams with this film.

My Forelove: Another debut for filmmaker/actress Mor Dovrat.

The story revolves around the two main characters meeting for sex without knowing anything about each other or the life of the other person. The plot is unique not only as an original take on a traditional love story but also because it combines facts from the real lives of the cast and director and blends them with fictional elements. Dovrat leaves it up to the viewer to determine which aspects of the film are fact...and which are fiction.

Interesting note: Forelove is not an English word, but is a literal translation from the German word "Vorliebe" meaning preference or liking.

Finally, the serious subject of child trafficking is the focus of Surviving International Boulevard

"Surviving" follows one woman's plight to get her daughter off the streets in Oakland, California. The film packs and abundance of raw truth and emotion into every single scene that allows it to leave a heavy impact on its viewers like a full-length documentary film would. This also marks Sian Taylor Gowan's debut in directing and in production.

Follow the 11 days of excitement from Cannes on Twitter @Cannes