One of the most famous film festivals in the world, the Festival de Cannes is upon us for the 75th time at the Palais des Festivals on the French Riviera. The festival is famous for its enthusiastic crowd reactions (many of which have passed into legend) and its provocative award choices, including last year’s Palme d'Or winner, Titane.
However, it’s far more than a film competition; Cannes is also a major international film market, where production companies and distributors from around the globe congregate, and where films are sold. You can also see sneak peeks at films in production (or even yet to go into production), all while soaking up French glamour and even taking in a film on the beach at the Croisette for the nightfall Cinéma de la plage series — which includes The Godfather, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Un singe en hiver, Strictly Ballroom, The Last Picture Show, and This Is Spinal Tap this year.
When Is It?
May 17 will see the sunny beginning of the festival, which runs until May 28. The festival will have films shown during the duration in competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or and the Un Certain Regard and Directors’ Fortnight sections, as well as numerous out of competition and Cannes Premiere and Cannes Classics titles. Even if one stayed for every day of the festival, there’s just no way to watch everything!
What is this year’s theme?
The annual Cannes poster is always a source of buzz, and this year’s poster is inspired by Peter Weir’s The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey. The official announcement tied it in with the overall theme of the festival: “The red carpet that leads up the steps to the hope of being in the limelight. A poetic celebration of the insuperable quest for expression and freedom. An upward journey to contemplate the past and move ahead towards the promise of a revival.” Fittingly, The Truman Show will also be showing as one of the Cinéma de la plage selections.
What’s going on?
24 films will be in competition this year for the Palme d’Or (we’ll be looking at some of the highlights shortly), plus there will be the presentation of an Honorary Palme d’Or on opening night to Forest Whitaker (whose production For the Sake of Peace will be screened) followed by a special salute to Tom Cruise (with Top Gun: Maverick set for the fest). View the full screenings guide here.
The jury is always comprised of a diverse and colorful array of global talent, and this year its many members will include Rebecca Hall, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Lindon, Asghar Farhadi, Ladj Ly, Deepika Padukone, Édgar Ramírez, Agnieszka Holland, Valeria Golino, Joachim Trier, Jeff Nichols, Jasmine Trinca, Rossy de Palma, Benjamin Biolay and Debra Granik. Click here for bios on all of the jury members. In a fitting tribute, the Salle du Soixantième, the scenic Riviera rooftop spot, is also being officially renamed the Salle Agnès Varda in honor of the legendary filmmaker who was given an Honorary Academy Award in 2017.
While the festival is invitation only, you can find out how to get limited tickets here.