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Asghar Farhadi’s ‘Everybody Knows’ to Open and Compete at Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival said Thursday that Asghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller “Everybody Knows” will play in competition as well as open the 71st edition of the event.

“Everybody Knows,” starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Ricardo Darin, will mark the second opening film in recent memory that is neither in English nor in French, following Pedro Almodóvar’s “Bad Education” in 2004. The last movie which opened the festival and competed was Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” in 2012.

Written by Farhadi and shot entirely in Spanish, “Everybody Knows” follows the journey of Laura (played by Cruz), who travels with her family from Buenos Aires to her native village in Spain for a celebration. An unexpected event changes the characters’ lives. The family, its ties and the moral choices imposed on them lie at the heart of the plot.

Iranian director Farhadi achieved worldwide critical acclaim in 2011 with “A Separation,” which garnered the Golden Bear at Berlin and went on to win Golden Globe, César and Oscar awards for best foreign film. Farhadi later fielded two films in competition on the Croisette, “The Salesman” in 2016 and “The Past” in 2013. “Everybody Knows” is his first film in the prestigious opening-night slot.

“Over the past decade, Asghar Farhadi has quickly established himself as one of Iran’s most influential and internationally recognized filmmakers, both for his tense and carefully crafted scripts and for the virtuosity of his realism in directing,” said the festival.

“Everybody Knows” is produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy at Memento Films Production and Álvaro Longoria at Morena Films.

“This is Asghar Farhadi’s most ambitious film yet,” said Mallet-Guy. “‘Everybody Knows’ is not only a gripping thriller with multiple twists, but also an amazing ensemble portrait dominated by the performances of Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darin.”

The French producer-distributor added that the film “combines suspense and emotion within a tense narrative” and will surely “find Farhadi his widest audience yet.”

Memento Films International is handling international sales and has already pre-sold the film to Germany and Austria (Prokino), Latin America (Leda Films), Japan (Longride), Benelux (Cineart), China (Hi-Show), Greece (Seven), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), Hungary (Mozinet), Israel (Lev), Poland (Gutek), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Aero Films), Russia and the Baltics (Mauris Films), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Switzerland (Frenetic), Taiwan (Movie Cloud), Turkey (Zeyno Films) and former Yugoslavia (Megacom).

UTA Independent Film Group is representing the rights to the sale of the film in North America along with Memento Films International.

Memento Films will release “Everybody Knows” in France on May 9 in 350 theaters, the day after its Cannes premiere. Universal Pictures International will distribute the film in Spain in September under the title “Todos Lo Saben.”

The Cannes Film Festival will take place May 8-19. The official selection will be unveiled on April 12.

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