Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” Pete Docter’s “Soul” and two films from Steve McQueen, “Lovers Rock” and “Mangrove” (both from his anthology series “Small Axe”), are among the films that would have gone to this year’s Cannes Film Festival if it had taken place, Cannes organizers announced at a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.
While the prestigious festival itself will not happen, those films and 52 others in the 2020 Official Selection will bear the Cannes 2020 label, a way the festival plans to highlight films that would have been chosen to screen in Cannes this year and have committed to trying for theatrical releases by the end of the year.
Other filmmakers who will be represented on the virtual Croisette include Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”), Francois Ozon (“Summer of ’85”), Naomi Kawase (“True Mothers”) Im Sang-soo (“Heaven”) and Viggo Mortensen, whose Sundance premiere “Falling” is also on the Cannes list.
The festival was originally scheduled for May 12 through May 23 in the South of France, but the physical gathering was canceled when the coronavirus prompted a ban on public events in the country. Still, Cannes general delegate Thierry Fremaux said in a letter posted on the festival’s website that “cancellation has never been an option,” so the festival’s bookers continued to view the 2,067 films that were submitted for consideration, the first time ever that more than 2,000 films had been submitted.
The films chosen includes 15 from first-time directors, the largest number ever in the Official Selection. Of the films chosen for the festival, 16 are directed by women, up from 14 last year, 11 in 2018 and 12 in 2017.
The festival also includes 21 French films, eight more than last year. Of those 21, eight are directed by women.
The announcement of the Official Selection, which was made by Fremaux and Cannes president Pierre Lescure, did not differentiate between films that would have been part of the Main Competition, ones that would have gone into the Un Certain Regard sidebar or ones that would have screened out of competition.
The festival plans to help showcase its Cannes 2020 films at other film festivals that will take place this year, including ones in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, as well as Sundance in 2021.
“To be adamant in our decision to deliver an Official Selection is ultimately, for the Festival, the best way to help cinema, as well as focus on the films that will be released in theaters in the coming months,” read Fremaux’s letter posted on the Cannes website, in part. “The reopening of cinemas, after months of closure, is a crucial issue. The Cannes Film Festival intends to accompany these films and support their careers in France and abroad, as well as confirm the importance of theaters as in what makes the value of the Seventh Art. We know that many festivals are taking the same position …
“Many other festivals around the world have expressed the desire to welcome the Cannes 2020 selection films. The Cannes Film Festival will soon unveil how it will operate next fall. Traditionally, successive festivals such as Locarno, Telluride, Toronto, Deauville, San Sebastian, Pusan, Morelia, Angoulême (for French cinema), New York, Rome, Rio, Tokyo, Mumbaï or Mar del Plata and even Sundance have invited the films of the Official Selection. They will do it again this year with the active support of Cannes and its teams. As we did last year, the Festival will present one or two films together with ACID (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion), one of the Festival’s parallel sections that will also announce a selection. The Critics’ Week will also announce its own selection. Finally, Lili Hinstin, the Locarno Festival’s director wanted to be the first to welcome Cannes films (before she too was unfortunately forced to give up), and we also spoke with Jose-Luis Rebordinos, the director of the San Sebastian festival, who decided that the films included in the Cannes 2020 Official Selection could also compete in San Sebastian. He changed the rules, just for us. Exceptional circumstances, exceptional measures.
“As previously announced, the Marché du Film will have an online edition this year, organized by its director Jérôme Paillard. Such an online edition was possible for the Marché, but it is not something we wished for the Festival itself (we don’t even know if it would have been allowed by the right-holders of the films). At the Marché, both participation and desire are promising (all information is available on the Marché du Film’s Website).”
The Cannes 2020 Official Selection:
“Ammonite,” Francis Lee
“Antoinette dans les Cevennes,” Caroline Vignal
“Au Crepuscule,” Sharunas Bartas
“Aya and the Witch,” Goro Miyazaki
“Beginning,” Dea Kulumbegashvili
“The Billion Road,” Dieudo Hamadi
“Broken Keys,” Jimmy Keyrouz
“Casa de Antiguidades,” Joao Paulo Miranda Maria
“The Death of Cinema and My Father, Too,” Dani Rosenberg
“Des Hommes,” Lucas Belvaux
“Druk” (“Another Round”), Thomas Vinterberg
“El olvido que seremos,” Fernando Trueba
“Enfant Terrible,” Oskar Roehler
“Even,” Im Sang-soo
“Falling,” Viggo Mortensen
“February,” Kamen Kalev
“Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen
“The French Dispatch,” Wes Anderson
“Garcon chiffon,” Nicolas Maury
“Gargarine,” Fanny Liatard and Jeremy Trouilh
“A Good Man,” Marie-Castille Mention Schaar
“Here We Are,” Nir Bergman
“Heaven,” Im Sang-soo
“Ibrahim,” Samuel Guesmi
“John and the Hole,” Pascual Sisto
“Last Words,” Jonathan Nossiter
“Le Discours,” Laurent Tirard
“Les choses qu’on dit, les choses qu’on fait,” Emmanuel Mouret
“Les Deux alfred,” Bruno Podalydes
“Limbo,” Ben Sharrock
“Lovers Rock,” Steve McQueen
“Mangrove,” Steve McQueen
“Un medecin de nuit,” Elie Wajeman
“Nadia, Butterfly,” Pascal Plante
“Nine Days to Raqqa,” Xavier de Lauzanne
“The Origin of the World,” Laurent Lafitte
“Peninsula,” Yeon Sang-Ho
“Pleasure,” Ninja Thyberg
“The Real Thing,” Koji Fukada
“Rouge,” Farid Bentoumi
“Septet: The Story of Hong Kong,” Ann Hui Johnnie TO, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo-Ping and Patrick Tam
“Si le vent tombe,” Nora Martirosyan
“Simple Passion,” Danielle Arbid
“Sixteen Years,” Suzanne Lindon
“Slalom,” Charlene Favier
“Squad,” Ayten Amin
“Soul,” Pete Docter
“Striding Into the Wind,” Wei Shujun
“Summer of ’85,” Francois Ozon
“Sweat,” Magnus Von Horn
“Teddy,” Ludovic & Zoran Boukherma
“True Mothers,” Naomi Kawase
“The Truffle Hunters,” Gregory Kershaw and Michael Dweck
“Un Triomphe,” Emmanuel Courcol
“Vaurien,” Peter Dourountzis