Wes Anderson’s star-packed “The French Dispatch,” Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round” and Naomi Kawase’s “True Mothers” are some of the prestige auteur movies expected to receive the Cannes 2020 label.
The films are among roughly 50 titles set to receive the label, which is curated by Cannes’ artistic director Thierry Fremaux and his selection committee. The movies will be revealed officially on June 3.
Without a physical festival this year, it’s natural to question what such a label will ultimately serve; however, as illustrated last year with Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” Cannes is a powerful launchpad for arthouse films around the world.
The festival often launches a film’s theatrical run as well as its presence on the festival circuit and awards season. As such, even though Cannes won’t take place with its staple glitz, star-studded gala premieres and hordes of journalists, at least some of its curated selection of films is bound to turn up at awards ceremonies and international festivals — except for Venice, which is no longer playing ball with Cannes according to several sources, despite some early noises around an alliance.
The Cannes 2020 list of films will include movies that were initially selected for several sections of the Official Selection, notably the competition and Un Certain Regard, as well as a few titles from Critics’ Week, the sidebar dedicated to first and second features. Films considered for the label have a release in the works between June and next May, said Fremaux in previous interviews, adding that others have been given the option to re-enter the selection process for 2021 in November.
Aside from Anderson, Vinterberg and Kawase, other prominent auteurs rumored to have accepted the Cannes 2020 label are Francois Ozon with “Ete 85” and Apichatpong Weerasethakul with “Memoria.”
Reasons why these prestigious films could take the Cannes label instead of waiting for Sundance, Berlin or next year’s Cannes vary from the timing of local theatrical releases to distributors’ strategies and the schedules of filmmakers.
For these films, the Cannes label will be a starting point with San Sebastian or Toronto lined up for the world premieres. For instance, “The French Dispatch,” whose cast includes Benicio del Toro, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet, will likely world premiere at Toronto. “The French Dispatch” was previously considered for the opening of Cannes and Anderson, who lives in France, holds the festival close to his heart.
Sofia Coppola, who is also close to Cannes, could follow a similar path with “On The Rocks,” the first film produced under the Apple TV and A24 partnership.
Navigating this new landscape and deciding where to premiere films has been a nightmare for many sales agents who say they have been forced to negotiate the entire lifespan of movies set for the 2020/21 festival season within a short time frame.
Toronto, San Sebastian, as well as New York, Busan, Deauville, Angouleme and Mexico, among a flurry of other festivals, are open to selecting films curated by Cannes, even in competitive sections. Some pics will also be curated for Fremaux’s own Lumiere festival in Lyon. Cannes will also be organizing event screenings of some movies in theaters across France in order to support exhibitors as they reopen cinemas.
Venice, meanwhile, won’t consider Cannes-labeled films for its competition roster, and has already scooped several high-profile films previously tipped for Cannes, notably Nanni Moretti’s “Tre Piani” and Maiwenn’s “DNA,” according to insiders.
Some other high-profile movies that were tipped to compete at Cannes this year — notably Leos Carax’s “Annette” with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Bruno Dumont’s “On A Clear Half Morning” with Lea Seydoux, and Paul Verhoeven with “Benedetta” — are expected to be held for next year’s Cannes.
Other movies that will also likely be presented next year include Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Petrov’s Flu,” Nadav Lapid’s “Ahed’s Knee” and Xavier Giannoli’s “Lost Illusions.”
Aside from well-established directors, Cannes is expected to turn the spotlight on filmmakers on the rise from around the world with this year’s label. Among these are Pascual Sisto’s “John And The Hole,” Danielle Arbid’s “Passion Simple,” Gia Coppola with “Mainstream” and Charlène Favier with “Slalom.”
The roster will probably showcase many female directors, although reaching parity in time for the 50/50 for 2020 milestone may still be a challenge.
In the absence of a physical or virtual Cannes festival, publicists, distributors and sales agents will play a key role in screening the films for targeted press and buyers in the run-up to the festival circuit this fall.