Kanye West, Filmmaker, Hits the International Festival CircuitS

Kanye West — rapper, producer, fashion enthusiast — is also a director. His 30-minute film, Cruel Summer, debuted last night at the Cannes Film Festival. Kid Cudi and Lebanese actress Razane Jammal star in the short piece, which, Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times explains, unfolds over seven screens in a specially designed pop-up theater. (West's official production notes call it "a seven-screen experience installation combining the world of art, architecture and cinema.") Kim Kardashian and Jay-Z were both at the screening, as was Aziz Ansari, who has a small part in the film.

Cruel Summer is about a car thief (Cudi) who falls in love with a blind Arab princess (?) (Jammal). The woman's father says that Cudi's character can only marry her if she cures her blindness.

And here's something that explains EVERYTHING about Kanye: He has synesthesia.

"When I was in grammar school I had a colored-pencil drawing of my take on synethesia. I knew I could see sounds and shapes," he said. "I can see sound in front of me."

The movie was shot in Qatar, and since, in most Muslim countries, on-screen kissing, cursing, and nudity are banned, Kanye and his team had to get script approval. After Cannes, Kanye will take the film to cities around the world, including Doha, Qatar.

Of course, just because he's a budding filmmaker doesn't mean Kanye has given up on music; GQ's Logan Hill says the music in Cruel Summer is all new, with "complex production" and "huge beats." Kanye may be dipping his toe in filmmaking, but he's actually pretty level-headed about it:

"I'm not the best director in the world," West admitted, explaining that he wanted to experiment with multiple screens because it "feels more like the experience of life."

Related, sorta: Photographer Nick Knight took some pretty behind-the-scenes pictures of Kimye. I dunno about you guys, but I'm rooting for a happy ending all around here.

[LA Times, Huffington Post, MTV, GQ]