The official line-up for the 2021 Cannes Film Festival has been announced in Paris, and amongst the filmic goodies set to screen at the festival (which runs July 6-17) there are a smattering of films from the MENA region.
Festival President Pierre Lescure and General Delegate Thierry Frémaux revealed the line-up at a press conference at the Normandie Cinema on the Champs-Elysées in central Paris, and also announced a new section titled Cannes Premiere, which will see filmmakers walk the red carpet at screenings in the Debussy cinema.
The main selection line-up includes films by Asghar Farhadi, Nanni Moretti, Julia Ducournau, François Ozon, Justin Kurzel, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mia Hansen-Love and Sean Penn, though only four of the 24 competition titles are directed by women. As previously announced, Leos Carax’s musical film Annette is set to open the festival.
The festival’s Un Certain Regard section is being returned to its original focus for young and experimental cinema. As is usual with Cannes, there may be late additions in coming weeks. In addition, side-bar sections Director’s Fortnight and Critic’s Week will be announced over coming days.
In the Main competition there will be the world premiere of A Hero (Iran), directed by Asghar Farhadi, which was shot in Shiraz, Iran and marks the award-winning director’s return to his homeland to film. The film features Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Sarina Farhadi, Fereshteh Sadr Orafaie and has already been acquired by Amazon.
Also In Competition will be Casablanca Beats (Morocco-France), directed by Nabil Ayouch. First announced under the title of Positive School, the Moroccan-French director’s film is about youngsters in Casablanca’s Sidi Moumen slum district who take part in a cultural project that encourages them to express themselves through hip hop and music. His film Horses Of God premiered in Un Certain Regard in 2012 while Much Love screened in Directors’ Fortnight in 2015.
Director Nadav Lapid’s film Ahed’s Knee (Israel-France) also screens in main competition .It is a semi-autobiographical story about a filmmaker battling an existential crisis while also dealing with the death of his mother. Lapid’s film The Kindergarten Teacher premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2014.
In the Un Certain Regard section there is a premiere for Rehana Maryam Noor (Bangladesh-Singapore-Qatar) directed by Abdullah Mohammad Saad, and starring Azmeri Haque Badhon, Afia Hahin Jaima, Afia tabassum Borno, Kazi Sami Hossain, Yasir Al Haq, Saberi Alam and Abrodit Chowhdury. It is about Rehana, a 37-year-old assistant professor in a private medical college who embarks on a journey to seek justice for a student, young six-year-old daughter and perhaps, ultimately, for herself
Also premiering in Un Certain Regard will be And Then There Was A Morning (Israel), directed by Eran Kolirin. It follows Sami, who believes he has found his place in life, but then, for no seeing reason, the Arab village where he grew up is suddenly surrounded by an ominous wall. It is described as a bitter sweet comedy about a state of siege, both internal and external.
And from Turkey, adding on to Un Certain Regard, Commitment Hasan by "Hasan" Semih Kaplanoglu is also in the line-up. In 2017 Buğday ("Grain") by the Turkish filmmaker seemed to predict a period of displacement and uncertainty while this upcoming film is part of the "Loyalty" trilogy and stars Umut Karadağ, Filiz Bozok and Gökhan Azlag.
The Special Screenings section will feature premieres of Black Notebooks (Israel), directed by Shlomi Elkabetz, along with portmanteau film The Year Of The Everlasting Storm, described as a “love letter to cinemas and its storytellers” and featuring a short film by Iranian director Jafar Panahi along with films by Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery, Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
The full Official selection 2021
- Annette, Leos Carax (opening film)
- Tre Piani, Nanni Moretti
- Everything Went Fine, François Ozon
- A Hero, Asghar Farhadi
- Titane, Julia Ducournau
- The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson
- Red Rocket, Sean Baker
- Petrov’s Flu, Kirill Serebrennikov
- France, Bruno Dumont
- Nitram, Justin Kurzel
- Memoria, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
- Lingui, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
- Paris 13th District, Jacques Audiard
- The Restless, Joachim Lafosse
- La Fracture, Catherine Corsini
- Casablanca Beats, Nabil Ayouch
- The Worst Person In The World, Joachim Trier
- Compartment No.6, Juho Kuosmanen
- Ahed’s Knee, Nadav Lapid
- Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi
- Bergman Island, Mia Hansen-Love
- Benedetta, Paul Verhoeven
- The Story Of My Wife, Ildikó Enyedi
- Flag Day, Sean Penn
Out Of Competition
- Aline, The Voice Of Love, Valérie Lemercier
- Stillwater, Tom Mccarthy
- The Velvet Underground, Todd Haynes
- Emergency Declaration, Han Jae-Rim
- De Son Vivant, Emmanuelle Bercot
- Bac Nord, Cédric Jimenez
- Bloody Oranges, Jean-Christophe Meurisse
- Hold Me Tight, Mathieu Amalric
- Cow, Andrea Arnold
- Love Songs For Tough Guys, Samuel Benchetrit
- Deception, Arnaud Desplechin
- Jane Par Charlotte, Charlotte Gainsbourg
- In Front Of Your Face, Hong Sang-Soo
- Mothering Sunday, Eva Husson
- Evolution, Kornél Mundruczo
- Val, Ting Poo, Leo Scott
- JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass, Oliver Stone
- H6, Yé Yé
- Black Notebooks, Shlomi Elkabetz
- Mariner Of The Mountains, Karim Aïnouz
- Jane Par Charlotte, Charlotte Gainsbourg
- Babi Yar, Context, Sergei Loznitsa
- The Year Of The Everlasting Storm, Jafar Panahi, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Un Certain Regard
- The Innocents, Eskil Vogt
- After Yang, Kogonada
- Lamb, Valdimar Jóhannsson
- Noche De Fuego, Tatiana Huezo
- Bonne Mère, Hafsia Herzi
- Blue Bayou, Justin Chon
- Moneyboys, C.B Yi
- Freda, Gessica Généus
- Un Monde, Laura Wandel
- Commitment Hasan, Hasan Semih Kaplanoglu
- House Arrest, Alexey German Jr.
- Let There Be Morning, Eran Kolirin
- Unclenching The Fists, Kira Kovalenko
- Women Do Cry, Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
- Rehana Maryam Noor, Abdullah Mohammad Saad
- Great Freedom, Sebastian Meise
- La Civil, Teodora Ana Mihai
- Gaey Wa’r, Na Jiazuo
Ed note: Titles added to the sections on 10 June
Out of Competition
- Where is Anne Frank ? by Ari Folman, animated
- Vortex by Gaspar Noé, starring Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun and Al Lutz
Un Certain Regard
- Mes frères et moi by Yohan Manca, starring Sofian Khammes, Dali Benssalah, JuChemla, Maël Rouin Berrandou - First feature
- Tralala by Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, starring Mathieu Amalric, Mélanie ThiBertrand Belin, Maïwenn, Josiane Balasko, Denis Lavant
- Suprêmes by Audrey Estrougo, starring Théo Christine, Sandor Funtek
- Bill Murray’s party: New Worlds, the cradle of a civilization by Andrew Muscato, starring Bill Murray and the musicians from New Worlds: Jan Vogler, Mira Wang anVanessa Perez
- Mi iubita, Mon amour by Noémie Merlant, starring Gimi-Nicolae Covaci and NoéMerlant - First feature
- Les Héroïques by Maxime Roy, starring François Creton, Richard Bohringer, ArianAscaride, Clotilde Courau, Patrick D'Assumçao - First feature
- Are you lonesome tonight ? by Wen Shipei, starring Sylvia Chang, Eddie Peng - First feature