The films competing in the 68th Cannes Film Festival were announced this morning at a press conference in Paris. The festival’s new president Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux kept the suspense going as they unveiled this year’s eclectic and rather art house-y selection. In total, 16 films have been selected in the official competition thus far. Another four films are set to be added in the next couple of weeks.
The official competition will be presided by the Coen Brothers. Their short film about cinema, which had screened for the 65th anniversary of the festival in 2007, was once again shown at the press conference. Starring Josh Brolin, it is both funny and poignant.
American competitors include Todd Haynes with Carol, starring Cate Blanchett, and Gus Van Sant is marking his return to the Croisette with The Sea of Trees, starring Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts. Australian co-production Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel, features Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and Greek movie The Lobster stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. According to Frémaux, “it is one of those films where we don’t understand everything.” Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) is selected for Sicario starring Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt, and László Nemes, a former assistant of Hungarian director Béla Tarr, will present his first feature film, Son of Saul.
Nanni Moretti, a Cannes regular, is back with Mia Madre, and although the film is being released soon in Italy, Frémaux asked us “not to go see it in Rome. Wait until Cannes!” he joked. Italy has two other entries, including Paolo Sorrentino with Youth, a film about aging that stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, while Gomorra director Matteo Garrone returns with The Tale of Tales.
Asian cinema is also brimming with talent and different genres. Hou Hsiao Hsien will present The Assassin, Jia Zhang-Ke will hit the Croisette with the much-anticipated Mountains May Depart, while Kore-Eda Hirokazu brings Our Little Sister.
Despite previous reports that Mad Max: Fury Road would be opening the festival, Lescure and Fremaux clarified that it would merely premiere in Cannes, as we previously reported. “There was never question of it opening the Festival.” The Festival will open with Emmanuelle Bercot’s off-competition Standing Tall, which stars Catherine Deneuve. Bercot, also an actress, stars in Maiwenn’s Mon Roi, one of the four French films in competition. The other French entries include Jacques Audiard’s tentatively titled Dheepan, Valérie Donzeli’s Marguerite and Julien and Stéphane Brizé’s A Simple Man.
And Cannes is not only about competition, Frémaux stresses. There are also special screenings, midnight screenings and off-competition films. These include Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, who could not be convinced by Frémaux to submit it to the official selection, and the Pixar animated feature Inside Out. Asif Kapadia will screen his documentary about Amy Winehouse, simply called Amy, and a musical even will also accompany the film.
Natalie Portman’s will make her directorial debut with a special screening of A Tale of Love and Darkness and Barbet Schroeder will present Amnesia. “We are often accused of placing well-known actors’ films, such as Ryan Gosling’s Lost River, in competition, so this film will be screened off-competition.”
As for the other competitions, Isabella Rossellini will preside the Un Certain Regard jury. The daughter of Italian director Roberto Rossellini and Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, who is featured on this year’s poster, will pay tribute to her mother. She is also working on a show with Jeremy Irons in London that will mark her life with her mother.
Some Un Certain regard contenders include Kiyoshi Kurosawa with Journey to the Shore, Radu Muntean’s One Floor Below, Iranian director Ida Panahandeh’s Nahid, and Alice Winocour’s Maryland.
Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako, who presented Timbuktu last year in Cannes and was this year’s big winner at the César awards, will return to the Croisette to serve as president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
And to conclude, the environmentally-conscious Cannes Film Festival, will go even more green this year by emphasizing its involvement in environmental issues. “Thierry and I will wear ethical tuxedos,” joked Lescure. And one of the biggest pollutants on the red carpet is the selfie obsession. “We can’t keep you from taking pictures, but please avoid taking selfies on the red carpet. It’s a question of timing for us and there’s nothing more ugly than a selfie.”
See the full list of films below:
Opening film (out of competition):
- LA TÊTE HAUT (STANDING TALL) – Emmanuelle Bercot
- DHEEPAN (temporary title) – Jacques Audiard
- LA LOI DU MARCHÉ (A SIMPLE MAN) – Stéphane Brizé
- MARGUERITE ET JULIEN (MARGUERITE AND JULIEN) – Valérie Donzeli
- IL RACCONTO DEI RACCONTI (THE TALE OF TALES) – Matteo Garrone
- CAROL – Todd Haynes
- NIE YINNIANG (THE ASSASSIN) – Hou Hsiao Hsien
- SHAN HE GU REN (MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART) – Jia Zhang-Ke
- UMIMACHI DIARY (OUR LITTLE SISTER) – Kore-Eda Hirokazu
- MACBETH – Justin Kurzel
- THE LOBSTER – Yorgos Lanthimos
- MON ROI – Maiwenn
- MIA MADRE – Nanni Moretti
- SAUL FIA (SON OF SAUL) – László Nemes
- YOUTH – Paolo Sorrentino
- LOUDER THAN BOMBS – Joachim Trier
- THE SEA OF TREES – Gus Van Sant
- SICARIO – Denis Villeneuve
Un Certain Regard
- MASAAN – Neeraj Ghaywan
- HRÚTAR (RAMS) – Grímur Hakonarson
- KISHIBE NO TABI (JOURNEY TO THE SHORE) – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
- JE SUIS UN SOLDAT (I AM A SOLDIER) – Laurent Lariviere
- ZVIZDAN (THE HIGH SUN) – Dalibor Matanic
- THE OTHER SIDE – Roberto Minervini
- UN ETAJ MAI JOS (ONE FLOOR BELOW) – Radu Muntean
- MU -ROE -HAN (THE SHAMELESS) – Oh Seung -Uk
- LAS ELEGIDAS (THE CHOSEN ONES) – David Pablos
- NAHID – Ida Panahandeh
- COMOARA (THE TREASURE) – Corneliu Porumboiu
- CHAUTHI KOOT (THE FOURTH DIRECTION) – Gurvinder Singh
- MADONNA – Shin Suwon
- MARYLAND – Alice Winocour
Out of Competition :
- IRRATIONAL MAN – Woody Allen
- INSIDE OUT – Pete Docter
- MAD MAX : FURY ROAD – George Miller
- THE LITTLE PRINCE – Mark Osborne
Midnight Screenings :
- O PISEU (OFFICE) – Hong Won-Chan
- AMY – Asif Kapadia
Special Screenings :
- ASPHALTE – Samuel Benchetrit
- OKA – Souleymane Cisse
- HAYORED LEMA’ALA – Elad Keidan
- SIPUR AL AHAVA VE CHOSHECH (A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS) – Natalie Portman
- AMNESIA – Barbet Schroeder
- PANAMA – Pavle Vuckovic