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CANNES 2017 Selection

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The Croisette in the crosshairs

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- Favourites, outsiders, likely bets and possible candidates: we help you navigate the jungle of potential hopefuls for the 70th Cannes Film Festival (17-28 May 2017)

The Croisette in the crosshairs
(© Louis Fauquembergue / FDC)

As the 67th Berlin Film Festival prepares to unveil its winners on Saturday, the world’s film-industry professionals are already turning their attention and directing their energy towards the 70th Cannes Film Festival (17-28 May 2017), which is far and away the finest showcase for the seventh art, as well as being the most prolific film market. And now that General Delegate Thierry Frémaux has lifted at least part of the veil on the internal goings-on when it comes to choosing the titles in competition on the Croisette in his recent, enthralling book Sélection officielle, we know that the decision process is kicking off as we speak and that the line-up will be fleshed out, in secret, little by little over the next two months. And as is customary, rumours, predictions and other divinations abound on Planet Cinephile as everyone strives to foretell the identity of the titles that will be vying for the 2017 Palme d'Or, set to be handed out by a jury chaired by Pedro Almodóvar (see the news). Here we give a non-exhaustive overview of the possible candidates.

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Starting with European filmmakers, the most favourable odds for punters are on Happy End by Austria’s Michael Haneke (see the news), Loveless by Russia’s Andrey ZvyagintsevA Gentle Creature by Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa, Thelma by Norway’s Joachim Trier (see the news), Superfluous Man by Hungary’s Kornel Mundruczo (see the news), The Square by Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund (see the news) and You Were Never Really Here by Scotland’s Lynne Ramsay, to which we could add the French films Mektoub is Mektoub by Abdellatif Kechiche (see the news), Ismael’s Ghosts by Arnaud Desplechin (see the news), Jeannette by Bruno Dumont and The Workshop by Laurent Cantet (see the news). 

For the USA, the most serious contenders seem to be The Beguiled by Sofia Coppola, Wonderstruck by Todd Haynes and Radegund by Terrence Malick (which has just been bought by UGC for French distribution), and even Downsizing by Alexander Payne.

Also well positioned in the list of “likely titles” are Une saison en France by Chad’s Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (see the news), Radiance by Japan’s Naomi Kawase and Claire's Camera by South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo (toplined by Isabelle Huppert and shot during last year’s Cannes, during the actual festival). 

Will they be ready in time? This is the question people are asking about The Killing of a Sacred Deer by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos (see the news – who is apparently engrossed in the pre-production of his subsequent film) and Where Life is Born by Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas, and especially about features filmed in late 2016 or early 2017, such as April's Daughter by Mexico’s Michel Franco, Roma by his fellow countryman Alfonso Cuaron, Kings by Turkey’s Deniz Gamze Ergüven (see the news), Based on a True Story by Roman Polanski (see the news), and even the mysterious Burning by South Korea’s Lee Chang Dong (based on a work by Haruki Murakami). As for Zama by Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel, it wouldn’t be able to take part in the competition whatever happens, as jury chair Pedro Almodóvar is involved as the film’s co-producer. Lastly, we can be certain that Luxembourg by Ukraine’s Myroslav Slaboshpitskiy (see the news) will not be ready by May.

Among the outsiders, we could mention Okja by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho, When the Waves Are Gone by Filipino director Lav Diaz, Feng Zhong You Duo Yu Zuo De Yun by China’s Lou Ye (in a more mainstream register than his previous works, at least on the face of it), Strolling Invader by Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Foxtrot by Israel’s Samuel Maoz, Abracadabra by Spaniard Pablo Berger (see the news), Face by Poland’s Malgorzata Szumowska, Under the Silver Lake by rising US star David Robert Mitchell, The Racer and the Jailbird by Belgium’s Michael R Roskam (see the news), Grain by Turkey’s Semih Kaplanoglu (which has been in post-production for quite some time now), A Sort of Family by Argentina’s Diego Lerman, The Summit by his fellow countryman Santiago Mitre (see the news), Monos by Uruguay’s Alejandro Landes, Western by Germany’s Valeska Grisebach, Lean on Pete by British director Andrew Haigh (see the news), Dark River by his fellow countrywoman Clio Barnard and, sticking up for the French side, Redoubtable by Michel Hazanavicius (see the news), 120 battements par minute by Robin Campillo (see the news) and Barbara by Mathieu Amalric (see the news).

Other titles in the starting blocks include His Master's Voice by Hungary’s Gyorgy Palfi (see the news), Dovlatov by Russia’s Alexey German Jr, How to Talk to Girls at Parties by US director John Cameron Mitchell, Good Favour by Ireland’s Rebecca Daly, L'insulte by Lebanon’s Ziad Doueiri (see the news), Euphoria by Sweden’s Lisa Langseth (see the news), Love Me Not by Greece’s Alexandros Avranas and Eye on Juliet by Canada’s Kim Nguyen. Also assembling on the starting line are Oro by Spaniard Agustin Diaz Yanes (see the news), The Box by Venezuela’s Lorenzo Vigas, A ciambra by Italy’s Jonas Carpignano, Nina by Slovakia’s Juraj Lehotsky (see the news), A Storm in the Stars by Saudi Arabia’s Haifaa Al-Mansour (see the news), Les Carnivores by Belgian brothers Jérémie and Yannick Renier, Laissez bronzer les cadavres by Brussels-based French duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (see the news), The Real Estate by Sweden’s Mans Mansson and Axel Petersén, Beyond Words by Polish-Dutch director Urszula Antoniak, Frost by Lithuania’s Sharunas Bartas, Khibula by Georgia’s George OvashviliKoko-di Koko-da by Sweden’s Johannes Nyholm, the new, as-yet untitled film by Slovenia’s Olmo Omerzu and Under the Tree by Iceland’s Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson. And on the French side, there are Fleuve noir by Erick Zonca (see the news), L'amant d'un jour by Philippe Garrel (see the news), Rodin by Jacques Doillon (see the news), Nos années folles by André Téchiné (see the news), Mrs. Hyde by Serge Bozon (see the news), Marvin by Anne Fontaine (see the news), Au revoir, là-haut by Albert Dupontel, Espèces menacées by Gilles Bourdos (see the news) and Demain et tous les autres jours by Noémie Lvovsky (see the news), whereas as things stand, Les gardiennes by Xavier Beauvois (see the news) will likely still be in post-production. 

The feature debuts in with a chance of being selected include titles such as I Am Not a Witch by Zambia’s Rungano Nyoni (see the news), Hier by Hungary’s Balint Kenyeres, On Chesil Beach by the UK’s Dominic Cooke, After the War by his fellow countrywoman Annarita Zambrano (see the news), La part sauvage by Belgium’s Guérin Van Der Vorst, The Gulf by Turkey’s Emre Yeksan, The Charmer by Iran’s Milad Alami and, for France, If You Saw His Heart by Joan Chemla (see the news), Ava by Léa Mysius (see the news), Bloody Milk by Hubert Charuel (see the news), La fête est finie by Marie Garel Weiss (see the news), Cornelius, the Howling Miller by Yann Le Quellec (see the news), Jusqu'à la garde by Xavier Legrand (news) and Luna by Elsa Dirringer.

(Translated from French)

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