Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s Artistic Director and General Delegate, announced its 2020 lineup of 56 Cannes labeled films. The curated film titles that have got the Cannes 2020 official stamp of approval will get a big boost at the Cannes Virtual Film Market, film festivals, theatres in the coming months. A record 2,067 features films were submitted for consideration for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival (1,845 films in 2019). Of the 56 films picked in the Cannes official selections, 21 are French films. Of the 56, sixteen were made by women directors. Four animation films found a place in the selection. Here’s our critics’ pick of 15 films that are likely to conquer minds, award ceremonies and festivals in the coming months, as we live amidst COVID-19.
Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom opened the Cannes festival in 2012. A Fox Searchlight film, The French Dispatch is set in the French foreign bureau of a Kansas newspaper. A big tribute to Journalism.
THE FRENCH DISPATCH (USA)
Director: Wes Anderson
Production: INDIAN PAINTBRUSH PRODUCTIONS/
AMERICAN EMPIRICAL PICTURES
International Sales: FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
A moving film on adoption. Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a baby boy. Their parenthood is shaken by a call from Hikari who claims to be the child’s biological mother. What happens next forms the rest of the critically acclaimed movie.
Director: NAOMI KAWASE
Production: KINO FILMS CO
It stars Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role. Druk by Thomas Vinterberg is the story of a tortured alcoholic and his journey. The Danish film runs for 115 minutes. Mikkelsen plays the protagonist named Martin.
ANOTHER ROUND DRUK (Denmark)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
International Sales: TRUSTNORDISK
Maïwenn was twice in Cannes Official Competition. DNA is a fictional, touching film. Maïwenn, besides helming the movie, also stars in this film. Besides Maïwenn, the film also stars Louis Garrel, Marine Vacth, Fanny Ardant and Dylan Robert.
DNA (Algeria/France) ADN
Production: WHY NOT PRODUCTIONS
International Sales: WILD BUNCH INTERNATIONAL
Set in the year 2086, Last Words is a fictional film that is about end of the world. Very few people have survived and a young man embarks in search of the last remaining community of humans. It will resonate with peculiar times we are experiencing now. A handful of survivors on an island of greenery, regain hope by watching old movies, but cough and fall under the effect of a virus.
Kalipha Touray, a 19-year-old Gambian refugee plays “the last human being on earth”.
LAST WORDS (USA)
Director: Jonathan Nossiter
International Sales: THE PARTY FILMS
Epic comedy, it is the story of two men who meet by chance. The duo then take a trip, searching for a taste of happiness. Their experiences form the crux of the film.
HEAVEN : TO THE LAND OF HAPPINESS (South Korea)
Director: IM Sang-Soo
Production: HIVE MEDIA CORP
International Sales: FINECUT
Based on Hector Abad Faciolince’s cult novel, the film portrays the life of Héctor Abad Gómez, a prominent doctor and human rights activist in the polarized, violent Medellin of the 70s. This story seen through the eyes of his only son, Héctor Abad Faciolince. One of the most outstanding writers in modern Spanish-language literature.
FORGOTTEN WE’ll BE (Spain) EL OLVIDO QUE SEREMOS
Director: Fernando Trueba
Production: CARACOL TELEVISION
International Sales: FILM FACTORY ENTERTAINMENT
A new film by Lithuanian master Sharunas Bartas. Lithuania, 1948. War is over, but the country is left in ruins. 19-year-old Untė is a member of the Partisan movement resisting Soviet occupation. They do not fight on equal terms, but this desperate struggle will determine the future of the whole population.
IN THE DUSK (Lituania) Au crépuscule
Director: Sharunas Bartas
International Sales: LUXBOX
It’s British director Francis Lee’s second LGBT romance after his much acclaimed debut, God’s Own Country. Ammonite is a 19th century love story starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. Lee said the film a story about the “the power of love; the power of a deep, intimate, human relationship; the power of touch; and hope.
Director: Francis Lee
Production: SEE-SAW FILMS
International Sales: CROSS CITY FILMS
This biopic of German cinema’s prolific Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Enfant Terrible, is directed by Oskar Roehler. Oliver Masucci (Hitler in the satirical Look Who’s Back) plays Fassbinder. When 22-yearold Rainer Werner Fassbinder storms the stage of the ‘Antitheater’ (Anti-Theatre) in Munich, 1967 and seizes the theatre production without further ado, nobody suspects this brazen nobody to become one of the most important post-war German filmmakers.
ENFANT TERRIBLE (Germany)
Director: Oskar Roehler (Germany)
Production: BAVARIA FILMPRODUKTION
International Sales: BAVARIA FILMPRODUKTION
It is a period films, from McQueens BBC/Amazon anthology series. Mangrove, is about a group of British black activists who were arrested in 1970 after demonstrating against police harassment A topical film today. McQueen has dedicated this film “to George Floyd and all the other black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen
Director: Steve McQueen
Production: TURBINE STUDIOS LIMITED
International Sales: TURBINE STUDIOS LIMITED
Pascal Plante directed short films, including Blond With Blue Eyes (Best Canadian Short Film, VIFF 2015), Nonna (Slamdance 2017) and BLAST BEAT (Slamdance 2019). Young and in her prime, Nadia decides to retire from pro-swimming after the Olympic Games to escape a rigid life of sacrifice. After her very last race, Nadia drifts into nights of excess punctuated by episodes of self-doubt.
NADIA, BUTTERFLY (Canada)
Director: Pascal Plante (Canada )
Production: NEMESIS FILMS
International Sales: WAZABI FILMS
Ninja Thyberg’s film is an intimate, authentic and humorous journey into the everyday grind of the porn industry and among the people behind the stereotypes. A 20-year-old ambitious girl moves from her small town in Sweden to Los Angeles for a shot at a career in the adult industry. With the help of her three porn actresses roommates, she discovers a world dominated by males in which she has to push her personal and sexual limits to become the next big porn star.
Director: Ninja Thyberg
Production: PLATTFORM PRODUKTION
International Sales: VERSATILE
Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut is a dark family drama in which he also stars. John Petersen lives in California with his partner Eric and their adopted daughter Monica. His father Willis, a farmer, belongs to a much more traditional world, far from the new family codes. Upon retirement, Willis decides to be closer to his family and John welcomes them into their home. If Willis can get closer to his granddaughter Monica, the wounds of the past will reopen with John and his sister Sarah.
Director: Viggo Mortensen
Production: PERCIVAL PICTURES
International Sales: HANWAY FILMS
Born in Lebanon, now in Paris, Danielle Arbid’s two feature films Dans les champs de bataille and Un homme perdu have been selected for the Quinzaine des réalisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival.
Passion Simple is based on the popular 1992 novel by Anne Ernaux. A love story, full of emotions. A French academic embarks on a passionate affair with a married Russian diplomat.
PASSION SIMPLE (Lebanon)
Director: Danielle Arbid
Production: LES FILMS PELLÉAS
International Sales: PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL