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CANNES 2020

Cannes unveils a very beautiful Official Selection in absentia

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- Shining bright among the 56 features which will be given the Cannes 73 label are films by Wes Anderson, François Ozon, Maïwenn, Thomas Vinterberg, Im Sang-soo, Naomi Kawase and Steve McQueen

Cannes unveils a very beautiful Official Selection in absentia
The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson

"Cancellation was never an option." The whole world knows about the Cannes Film Festival, and the entire galaxy of the international film industry is aware of the fierce obstinacy of Thierry Frémaux, the unmissable General Delegate and Artistic Director of the major annual film event. It was therefore a surprise to no one to see him take a stand when the health crisis and the decisions from public authorities put a definite end to the hopes of seeing the 73rd Cannes Film Festival (initially set to unfold from 12-23 May, then for a time tentatively pushed to late June - early July) take place on the Croisette: indeed, there will still be a 2020 Official Selection, with the prestige of the Cannes label helping the selected films on their journey and helping cinemas (themselves hit hard by the pandemic) in their post-lockdown reopening.

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After pushing aside any possibility of an online festival (due to the primacy of the big screen when it comes to great cinema) and moving forward without flinching through the chessboard of major international festivals — competitive even in the middle of a dramatic global context, with Venice deciding two weeks ago not to accept any Cannes titles, as opposed to San Sebastian and Toronto — Thierry Frémaux has ultimately brought his cinephilic and strategic operation safely to shore. He is revealing today in Paris (alongside president Pierre Lescure who has just been reelected for a 3rd term) a list of 56 feature films making up an Official Selection which, exceptionally this year, is not broken up into sub-categories (competition, out of competition, Un Certain Regard, special screenings).

The pull of the Cannes Film Festival remains undeniable despite this year’s unusual circumstances, since the festival has received a record number of submissions (2067 feature films) and several high ranking filmmakers who have been to the Croisette before are headlining the selection. Standing out among them is American director Wes Anderson (who opened the competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival), French directors François Ozon (in competition three times) and Maïwenn (Jury Prize winner in 2011 and Best Actress in 2015), Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Jury Prize winner in 1998 and Best Actor winner in 2012), South Korean director Im Sang-soo (in competition in 2010 and 2012) and Japanese director Naomi Kawase (five times in competition and winner of the Grand Prix in 2007).

Also worth mentioning are Oscar-winning British director Steve McQueen (present with two films made for the BBC), Belgian director Lucas Belvaux (in competition in 2006), Japanese director Kôji Fukada, Lebanese filmmaker Danielle Arbid, Fernando Trueba from Spain, French directors Emmanuel Mouret and Elie Wajeman, Magnus von Horn from Sweden, Kamen Kalev from Bulgaria, British director Francis Lee, as well as Pete Docter's US animation film Soul.

Setting aside the films from Paul Verhoeven, Leos Carax, Bruno Dumont, Kirill Srebrennikov and Nadav Lapid, who chose to wait for 2021, as well as Nanni Moretti’s new film, which should premiere at the Venice Film Festival, this 2020 Official Selection of a festival-less Cannes Film Festival gathers a great number of spring’s most anticipated titles, which constitutes a real feat in absentia in the wake of the devastating (and potentially very disheartening) health crisis, a feat which confirms the place of the Cannes Film Festival, even deprived of a physical edition, as the most important of all film events worldwide.

Besides these big titles, this unusual Official Selection has opened the door to a very marked renewal, since 28,5% of films selected are directed by women, and 15 feature-length debuts are included in the selection (from a total of 909 candidates). These films, as well as the 21 French feature films selected (an unusually high proportion), will benefit the most from the Cannes label, with their marketing campaign able to rely on this distinction to stand out in film markets and during their future distribution. Indeed, let us not forget that if Cannes has chosen to maintain such an unflinching position and refused to cross the frontier between the big screen and the virtual world, its Marché du Film will however take place online from 22 to 26 June (read the news).

The Cannes 2020 films:

Already selected at Cannes at least once before

The French Dispatch [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Wes Anderson (UK/France/Germany)
Summer of 85 [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- François Ozon (France)
True Mothers - Naomi Kawase (Japan)
Lovers Rock - Steve McQueen (UK)
Mangrove [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Steve McQueen (UK)
Another Round [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands)
DNA [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Maïwenn (France)
Last Words [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Jonathan Nossiter (Italy/France)
Heaven: To The Land Of Happiness - Im Sang-soo (South Korea)
Forgotten We'll Be - Fernando Trueba (Colombia)
Peninsula - Yeon Sang-ho (South Korea)
In the Dusk [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sharunas Bartas
film profile
]
- Sharunas Bartas (Lithuania/France/Czech Republic/Serbia/Portugal/Latvia)
Home Front [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lucas Belvaux
film profile
]
- Lucas Belvaux (France/Belgium)
The Real Thing - Koji Fukada (Japan)

Cannes first-timers

Passion simple [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Danielle Arbid
film profile
]
- Danielle Arbid (France/Belgique)
A Good Man [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Marie-Castille Mention Schaar (France)
Love Affair(s) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuel Mouret
film profile
]
- Emmanuel Mouret (France)
Souad - Ayten Amin (Egypt/Tunisia)
Limbo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Sharrock
film profile
]
- Ben Sharrock (UK)
Red Soil - Farid Bentoumi (France/Belgium)
Sweat [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Magnus von Horn
film profile
]
- Magnus von Horn (Poland/Sweden)
Teddy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma (France)
February [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria)
Ammonite [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Francis Lee (UK)
A Night Doctor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Elie Wajeman (France)
Enfant terrible [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Oskar Roehler (Germany)
Nadia, Butterfly - Pascal Plante (Canada)
Here We Are - Nir Bergman (Israel/Italy)

Omnibus film

Septet: The Story Of Hong Kong - Ann Hui, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo-Ping, Patrick Tam (Hong Kong)

First features

Falling [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Viggo Mortensen (Canada/UK/Denmark)
Pleasure - Ninja Thyberg (Sweden/Netherlands/France)
Slalom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Charlène Favier
film profile
]
- Charlène Favier (France)
Memory House [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- João Paulo Miranda Maria (Brazil/France)
Broken Keys - Jimmy Keyrouz (Lebanon)
Ibrahim [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Samir Guesmi (France)
Beginning [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dea Kulumbegashvili
film profile
]
- Déa Kulumbegashvili (Georgia)
Gagarine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Tr…
film profile
]
- Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh (France)
Spring Blossom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Suzanne Lindon
film profile
]
- Suzanne Lindon (France)
Rascal [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Peter Dourountzis (France)
My Best Part [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicolas Maury
film profile
]
 - Nicolas Maury (France)
Should the Wind Fall [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Nora Martirosyan (Armenia/France/Belgium)
John and the Hole - Pascual Sisto (USA)
Striding into the Wind - Wei Shujun (China)
The Death of Cinema and My Father Too [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Dani Rosenberg (Israel/France)

Documentaries

Downstream to Kinshasa [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Dieudo Hamadi (Democratic Republic of the Congo/Belgium/France)
The Truffle Hunters [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gregory Kershaw and Michael…
film profile
]
- Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw (Italy/USA/Greece)
9 Days at Raqqa - Xavier de Lauzanne (France)

Comedies

My Donkey, My Lover & I [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Caroline Vignal (France)
French Tech [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Bruno Podalydès (France)
The Big Hit - Emmanuel Courcol (France)
The Speech [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Laurent Tirard (France)
The Origin of the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laurent Lafitte
film profile
]
- Laurent Lafitte (France)

Animation films

Earwig and the Witch - Goro Miyazaki (Japon)
Flee - Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway)
Josep [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aurel
film profile
]
- Aurel (France, Spain)
Soul - Pete Docter, Kemp Powers (USA)

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(Translated from French)

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