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CANNES 2019

Favourites and outsiders gear up for Cannes

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- An overview of the main contenders vying for a place at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (14 to 25 May 2019)

Favourites and outsiders gear up for Cannes
Abdellatif Kechiche, Céline Sciamma, Pedro Almodóvar, Marco Bellocchio, Jessica Hausner, Roy Andersson, Ulrich Seidl, Agnes Kocsis and Corneliu Porumboiu

What does this year's Cannes selector Thierry Frémaux have in store for us, given that he went against the grain last year in favour of mixing things up a bit? With the 69th Berlinale due to hand out awards on Saturday, 16 February, the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (14 to 25 May 2019) has begun to attract the interest of major global film industry players and fans, and the lists of possible and probable contenders are cropping up left, right and centre as part of the usual, but no-less-exciting, crystal ball atmosphere that tends to precede the event (with a special mention to prospectors Nicholas Bell and Eric Lavallée from Ioncinema). Of course, this broad summary should be taken with a pinch of salt, but it does contain a very large number of hotly anticipated films.

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On the front line are several films by directors who have already won at least one (or two) Palmes d'Or: Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
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interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
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]
by the Belgians Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Sorry We Missed You [+see also:
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Q&A: Ken Loach
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by the Englishman Ken Loach, the French film The Truth by Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood by the American director Quentin Tarantino, and two feature films that have been kept decidedly under wraps, Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo [+see also:
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by the French director Abdellatif Kechiche and A Hidden Life [+see also:
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by the American director Terrence Malick.

Also on our radar are a number of otherfilms that have been screened in competition on the Croisette, such as Pain & Glory [+see also:
film review
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interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
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]
by the Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Oh Mercy! [+see also:
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interview: Arnaud Desplechin
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by the French director Arnaud Desplechin and Joan of Arc [+see also:
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interview: Bruno Dumont
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 by his compatriot Bruno Dumont, The Traitor [+see also:
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Q&A: Marco Bellocchio
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by the Italian director Marco Bellocchio, About Endlessness by the Swedish director Roy Andersson, Manor House by the Romanian director Roumain Cristi Puiu, Wicked Games by the Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, Parasite by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho, the American trio The Dead Don’t Die [+see also:
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by Jim Jarmusch, Ad Astra by James Gray (if special effects are completed in time) and Uncut Gems by Josh and Benny Safdie, Matthias et Maxime by the Canadian director Xavier Dolan and Guest of Honour by his compatriot Atom Egoyan, It Must Be Heaven [+see also:
film review
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interview: Elia Suleiman
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by the Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, To the Ends of the Earth by the Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, three Chinese films, including Saturday Fiction by Lou Ye and One Second by the Chinese director Zhang Yimou (if they pass the country's strict censorship laws), as well as Bacurau [+see also:
film review
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interview: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juli…
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by the Brazilian duo Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles (which rumours suggests is a little too genre-oriented to be in the running for the Palme d’Or), as well as True History of the Kelly Gang by the Australian director Justin Kurzel. It should also be noted that there is uncertainty about the timing of Zombi Child [+see also:
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interview: Bertrand Bonello
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by the Frenchman Bertrand Bonello, which could be a candidate for selection according to some, while others don’t think the film shoot will be entirely finished by the spring.

Serious contenders for a first foray in competition include Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
film review
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interview: Céline Sciamma
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]
by the French director Céline Sciamma, Ema by the Chilean director Pablo Larrain, The Whistlers [+see also:
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interview: Corneliu Porumboiu
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by the Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu, Little Joe [+see also:
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interview: Jessica Hausner
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by the Austrian director Jessica Hausner, Wet Season by the Singaporean director Anthony Chen, The Wild Goose Lake by the Chinese director Diao Yi’nan (also allegedly a little too genre-oriented for competition, but so was his Golden Bear winner Black Coal at Berlin in 2014, so we'll see!), All Inclusive by the Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska, The Beanpole [+see also:
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by the Russia's wunderkind director Kantemir Balagov, and three films by American directors: First Cow by Kelly Reichardt, Wendy by Benh Zeitlin and Frankie [+see also:
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interview: Ira Sachs
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]
by Ira Sachs.

European productions aren't lacking in diverse talent ready for a trip on the Croisette with Eden by the Hungarian director Agnes Kocsis, A Sun That Never Sets by the Spanish director Olivier Laxe and Mother by his compatriot Rodrigo Sorogoyen, the Icelandic films Echo by Runar Runarsson and The County by Grímur Hákonarson, The Disciple by the Slovakian Ivan Ostrochovský, Pelican Blood by the German director Katrin Gebbe, Suicide Tourist by the Danish director Jonas Alexander Arnby, 438 Days by the Swedish director Jesper Ganslandt, Martin Eden [+see also:
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by the Italian director Pietro Marcello, Technoboss [+see also:
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interview: João Nicolau
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by the  Portuguese director João Nicolau, Heidi [+see also:
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interview: Cătălin Mitulescu
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by the Romanian director Catalin Mitulescu, Adoration [+see also:
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interview: Fabrice du Welz
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by the Belgian director Fabrice du Welz and La Frontière by his compatriot Frédéric Fonteyne. Also worthy of a mention is the enigmatic Undine by the German director Christian Petzold, which sprang from nowhere into this year’s predictions and whose production process is entirely unknown.

Also of note is While at War [+see also:
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by the Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar, Against All Enemies by the Australian director Benedict Andrews, The Lighthouse by the American director Robert Eggers, thedocumentary The Cordillera of Dreams [+see also:
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by the Chilean director Patricio Guzmán, Positive School by the Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch, Yalda by the Iranian director Massoud Bakhshi, Our Lady of the Nile by the Afghani director Atiq Rahimi, A Girl Missing [+see also:
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by the Japanese director Koji Fukada, Luz by the Chinese director Flora Lau, as well as Blue Train by her compatriot Dalei Zhang, Waves by the American director Trey Edward Shults, The Orphanage [+see also:
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interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
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by the Afghani director Shahrbanoo Sadat, Litigante [+see also:
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by the Colombian director Franco Lolli and Persian Lessons by the Russian-American director Vadim Perelman.

On the French side of things, in addition to the titles that have already been mentioned, are various contenders in good stead, such as An Easy Girl [+see also:
film review
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interview: Rebecca Zlotowski
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]
by Rebecca Zlotowski, Proxima by Alice Winocour, Sibyl [+see also:
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interview: Justine Triet
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by Justine Triet, Happy Birthday by Cédric Kahn, Thalasso [+see also:
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by Guillaume Nicloux and Gloria Mundi by Robert Guédiguian.

Also standing out among French productions are Chanson douce by Lucie Borleteau, Tijuana Bible by Jean-Charles Hue, My Traitor, My Love by Hélier Cisterne, The Room by Christian VolckmanMon initiation chez les chamanes by Fabienne Berthaud, Terminal Sud [+see also:
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by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, L’État sauvage by David Perrault, The Girl with a Bracelet [+see also:
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by Stéphane Demoustier, Camille [+see also:
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by Boris Lojkine, Deerskin [+see also:
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interview: Quentin Dupieux
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]
 by Quentin Dupieux, The Translators by Régis Roinsard, and let's not forget the homage, The Best Years of a Life [+see also:
film review
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interview: Claude Lelouch
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]
by Claude Lelouch.

When it comes to the oft-disputed debut French film crowd, contenders include the likes of Atlantique [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mati Diop
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]
 by Mati Diop, Cuties by Maïmouna Doucouré, Jumbo by Zoé WittockBack Home by Jessica Palud, Les Voeux by Sarah Suco, Les Héros ne meurent jamais by Aude Rapin, Mes jours de gloire by Antoine de Bary, Les Misérables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ladj Ly
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]
by Ladj Ly and Qu’un sang impur… by Abdel Raouf Dafri.

Also worth noting are the animated films The Bear's Famous Invasion of Sicily [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lorenzo Mattotti
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]
 by the Italian director Lorenzo Mattotti and The Swallows of Kabul [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbe-…
film profile
]
 by the French directors Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, while the midnight sessions may suit Midsommar bythe American director Ari Aster and Muscle by the English director Gerard Johnson.

Finally, among the first international features jostling for a spot at Cannes are Particles [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blaise Harrison
film profile
]
by Blaise Harrison, Arab Blues by the Tunisian director Manèle Labidi, Sole [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by the Italian director Carlos Sironi, Paradise Drifters by the Dutch director Mees Peijnenburg, The Wind Blew On by the Icelandic director Katrin Olfasdottir, Perfect 10 by the Scottish director Eva Riley and Song Without a Name [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by the Peruvian director Melina León.

Obviously, the thorny issue of the presence of Netflix films at Cannes still remains, even if would be fantastic to see The Irishman by Martin Scorsese on the Croisette, although it is unlikely anyway due to post-production delays, but who knows...

These very exciting questions about the Cannes 2019 line-up will be answered during section announcements, which (subject to official confirmation) are likely to take place on 18 April for the Official Competition, 19 or 22 April for the Critics' Week and 23 April for the Directors' Fortnight.

(Translated from French)

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