Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Exclusive: Jon Stewart Sneaks into Cannes for Screening of Directorial Debut


Saturday, 4pm, Cannes, the grim little Olympia theater complex: standing outside, suddenly, Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show. LionsGate/Open Road scheduled a sneak screening for film buyers of Stewart’s directorial debut “Rosewater.” Stewart shot the movie in the summer of 2013, taking 12 weeks off. His replacement, John Oliver, did so well that he has his own HBO show now.

“Rosewater” was not screened for press and no one knew that the screening was even taking place. But the turnout. I’m told, was huge, and the movie was well received. Stewart said he’d never been to Cannes before, and had to get back to the Daily Show.

In “Rosewater,” Gael Garcia Bernal plays Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari. Also a filmmaker, Bahari was arrested in June 2009 and held until October, tortured until he admitted that American journalists in Iran were actually spies. The Iranians thought this because they’d seen a parody news segment about this on The Daily Show.

“Rosewater” will likely debut at the Toronto Film Festival, where press will get to see it. Garcia-Bernal is already getting Oscar buzz.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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