Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ Joins Cannes Film Festival Competition

Cannes Film Festival Adds Asghar Farhadi, Mel Gibson Movies

PARIS — “The Salesman” by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”) has been announced as a late addition to the competition lineup at the upcoming Cannes Festival. Little is known about the Oscar winner’s Farsi-language drama, reportedly inspired to some degree by Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” except that it focuses, like so much of Farhadi’s work, around a couple’s fractious relationship.

The selection committee made a few other revelations today, adding British director David Mackenzie’s “Hell or High Water” to Un Certain Regard, where it was revealed that Mohamed Diab’s “Clash” will open the section. Meanwhile, “Mesrine” director Jean-Francois Richet’s “Blood Father” landed a Midnight Screening slot.  The film stars Mel Gibson as an ex-con who comes to the aid of his estranged and endangered teenage daughter.

Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes Film Festival has also added three films to the Special Screenings section: American director Jonathan Littell’s “Wrong Elements,” and a pair of French films, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet’s “La Foret de Quinconces” and Karim Dridi’s “Chouf.”

The fest also announced that Iggy Pop will be attending the screening of Jim Jarmusch’s “Gimme Danger” on May 19.

More details on the films:


“The Salesman” (Asghar Farhadi). Shot in Teheran, “The Salesman” is a contemporary tale centering around a couple who drift into violence because of societal pressures. Taraneh Alidoosti (“About Elly) and Shahab Hosseini (“A Separation”). Farhadi, who won the foreign-language Oscar for “A Separation” in 2012, competed at Cannes with his previous film, the Paris-set “The Past” which earned Berenice Bejo a best actress award and Farhadi the prize of the Ecumenical jury. Sales: Memento


“Blood Father” (Jean-Francois Richet). Produced by Why Not Productions and Chris Briggs, “Blood Father” is a redemption-themed thriller set in New Mexico, starring Mel Gibson as an ex-con forced to step in and help his estranged 16-year-old daughter when drug mobsters threaten to kill her. The screenplay is by U.S. novelist Peter Craig (“The Town”). Sales: Wild Bunch


“Hell or High Water” (David Mackenzie). A male-driven heist thriller, “Hell or High Water” star Chris Pine and Ben Foster as two brothers who plot a bank robbery to save their family farm in New Mexico. Jeff Bridges also star. The script, penned by Taylor Sheridan, won the 2012 Black List. A critically-aclaimed young British director, Mackenzie previously won three BAFTA’s for “Starred Up” in 2014 and a BAFTA for “Young Adam” in 2004. He’s had two films play in Berlin, “Hallam Foe” and “Asylum.”


“Wrong Elements” (Jonathan Littell, U.S.) A documentary from U.S. filmmaker Littell, produced out of France, Belgium and Germany, “Wrong Elements” is set in the Congo and Central African Republic following soldiers through jungle as they attempt to flush out the last remaining supporters of Jonathan Kony’s once powerful Lord’s Resistance Army, accused of the deaths of 100,000 of people and abduction of 60,000 children.

“Fool Moon” (“La Foret des quinconces,” Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, France)  A contempo  relationship dramedy produced by Paulo Branco’s Alfama Films Production, “Fool Moon” reps the feature directorial debut of 28-year-old French thesp-turned -helmer Leprince-Ringuet (“Strayed” “Love Songs”), a four-time Most Promising Actor Cesar nominee who also stars in the film. Sales: Alfama

“Chouf” (Karim Dridi, France/Tunisia) A Marseille drug gang-set vengeance thriller, “Chouf” reps is produced by Jean Brehat from Tessalit Productions and helmed by Dridi, who broke through with Venice competition player ”Pigalle.”