The 74th Cannes Film Festival will be unveiling its official selection on 6th June, postponing the release from the previously planned 27th May.
While not much is known about the films selected, some critics and film afficionados point to a number of titles from Arab countries, hoping to find them within the festival’s programmes.
The selected films will be announced during a press conference by the festival’s artistic director and general delegate Thierry Frémaux. Held with the attendance of journalists, the conference will take place at the UGC Normandie cinema in Paris.
So far, the festival has revealed that its opening film will be Annette, a musical romance directed by Leos Carax, starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.
We also know that two other films will compete for the Palme d’Or: Benedetta (France) by Paul Verhoeven and The French Dispatch (USA) by Wes Anderson, starring French-Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri.
The film critics’ predictions point to a few titles from the Middle East that might make it to Cannes’ official selection or other segments of the event.
Among the potential films discussed is Amira by Egyptian director Mohamed Diab. The filmmaker’s second feature, Clash, opened Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2016.
Tunisian filmmaker Leyla Bouzid’s A Story Of Love and Desire is among other films with strong potentials of entering the festival’s race.
Following his two Academy award nominations, hopes are high for Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad’s thriller Huda’s Salon which until recently was in a post-production phase. Abu-Assad’s 2013 film Omar was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize.
Berlin-based Syrian filmmaker Diana El-Jeiroudi might have a chance at entering Cannes this year with her recent documentary Republic Of Silence. Two previous films by El-Jeiroudi, Silvered Water and Syria Self-Portrait premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, while the director was one of the jury members for the first-ever documentary film award “L’Œil d’Or” (The Golden Eye) at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Variety magazine also points to Moroccan-French Cannes regular Nabil Ayouch, who could enter the Cannes race with her Casablanca Beats. Ayouch had two previous films screened at Cannes: Horses Of God in Un Certain Regard in 2012, and Much Love screened in Directors’ Fortnight in 2015.
The 74th Cannes Film Festival will take place across the city’s cinemas. Industry-related events will be in hybrid format, with physical attendance of the industry delegates, while an earlier industry market will be held shortly prior to the festival.