Welcome to Monday, where thousands of Cubans join rare protests against the government, Jordan arrests suspected coup organizers and it's a full-blown festa in Italy after the national soccer team's Euro win, as racists make loss even worse for England. With the Cannes Festival red carpet out, Les Echos looks at how Netflix and other platforms are helping French actors and filmmakers make their way in Hollywood.
• Thousands protest in Cuba: For the first time in decades, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in anti-government protests, expressing frustration over the ongoing economic crisis that led to a shortage of essential goods on the island. The government's handling of the coronavirus has also sparked anger, with some chanting that current President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, must step down.
• Police in Haiti arrest key suspect: A 63-year-old Haitian national and doctor, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, has been arrested in connection to the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Sanon, who arrived in Haiti via private jet in June, is alleged to be a "key suspect" in having organized the murder.
• Ethiopian leader officially wins contested election: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will remain in power after his party won an overwhelming majority of parliamentary seats. The results, which have been criticized by members of the international community, come after the jailing of opposition leaders throughout the campaign process and amid the Tigray conflict, where large swaths of the country were unable to vote.
• Jordanian monarchy officials sentenced over coup attempt: A Jordanian court has sentenced two officials, Bassem Awadallah, a former top aide to the royal family, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a minor royal, to 15 years in prison on charges of sedition and incitement. The two allegedly attempted to push former heir, Prince Hamzah, to the throne in order to undermine current leader, King Abdullah II.
• 11 killed in India lightning strike: A lightning strike at the popular Indian tourist attraction, Amer Fort, in the Rajasthan state, is responsible for the deaths of at least 11 people. The lightning hit a tower, causing a wall to collapse and bury at least 11 people. Another 11 people were rescued and remain in stable condition, as the search for other survivors continues.
• Billionaire blasts off: Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, successfully launched into space, making him the first person to do so on a rocket he helped to fund. Branson's flight, which also included three other Virgin Galactic employees, comes just nine days before Jeff Bezos is set to take off into space in his own company's spacecraft.
• Wandering elephant finds its way home: One of the elephants in a herd that trekked over 500 km across China has found its way back to its home reserve. However, the rest of the herd continues to press on in what seems to be a never ending journey. The elephants became popular last month after escaping their nature reserve and beginning a long, inexplicable migration, marked by several group naps, which were conveniently captured by nearby drones.
Milan-based sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport celebrates the victory of Italy's national soccer team at the Euro championship. The azzurri beat England in penalty kicks in their first win since 1968. British newspapers on the other hand featured their "heartbroken" team, even as the country's leaders, including Prince William, were forced to react to a flood of racist vitriol on social media in the wake of the defeat.
To Cannes and back: The subtle French infiltration in Hollywood
Since Agnès Varda, Louis Malle and Michel Gondry, trying one's luck in Hollywood has become an obsession for some French filmmakers. But Netflix and friends are changing the formula, writes Pierre de Gasquet in French daily Les Echos.
The executive producer of the French film festival CoLCoA in Los Angeles, François Truffart, notes that some top European filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard always refused to shoot in Hollywood where the director does not have the "final cut" in the studio system. "Netflix, on the other hand, gives freedom to independent producers and big-name filmmakers to attract talent," Truffart says. More and more French filmmakers today are following in the footsteps of Louis Malle or Agnès Varda, using the California dream factory as a laboratory or springboard.
"The platforms represent a real opportunity and an opening for those who do not benefit from the automatic aid and funding of the French system," says filmmaker Julie Delpy, who has been based in Los Angeles for 28 years. Are we witnessing a paradigm shift? "With the rise of streaming platforms, films travel more and travel better. This represents a breath of fresh air and fresh money for French cinema," says Lucie Carette, director of the Office of Cultural and Creative Industries in Los Angeles.
French producer Saïd Ben Saïd, whose film Benedetta (directed by Paul Verhoeven) is competing at Cannes, is a frequent visitor to Los Angeles. Though a fervent supporter of international co-productions, he's also wary about the big platforms. "They've gotten a lot richer during the pandemic. I look at all this with a lot of skepticism because the interests of the platforms are not aligned with those of French cinema."
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