After canceling its last edition due to the pandemic, Directors’ Fortnight, a section running alongside the Cannes Film Festival, will be back with a stylish and eclectic international lineup, including Joanna Hogg’s highly anticipated “The Souvenir Part II,” Clio Barnard’s “Ali & Ava,” Jonas Carpignano’s “A Chiara,” Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s Rwanda-set sci-fi film “Neptune Frost,” and Alice Rohrwacher, Pietro Marcello and Francesco Munzi’s “Futura.”
The highlight of this edition will likely be the world premiere of “The Souvenir Part II,” which will mark the first presence of Hogg, an acclaimed British writer-director, at Cannes. The romance-drama is headlined by Tilda Swinton — who will also be in Cannes for “The French Dispatch” and “Memoria” competing in the festival’s Official Selection — as well as Richard Ayoade, Charlie Heaton and Harris Dickinson. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, the film revolves around a student who begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charming but untrustworthy man.
Directors’ Fortnight will also host the French premiere of “The Souvenir” which will be the strand’s only Special Screening title. The film will have its theatrical release in France later this year. It previously world premiered at Sundance and played at the Berlinale.
Other anticipated films set to unspool at Directors’ Fortnight include “Ali & Ava,” the fourth feature from Barnard, another British writer-director, which is a contemporary love story headlined by Adeel Akhtar (“Four Lions”) and Claire Rushbrook (“Secrets & Lies”); “A Chiara,” Carpignano’s (“Mediterranea”) third feature, which tells the story of 15-year-old Chiara whose close-knit family falls apart after her father abandons them in Calabria; and “Futura,” a documentary directed by a trio of high-profile Italian helmers — Rohrwacher, Marcello and Munz — and portraying how Italy’s adolescents look at the future.
The lineup will boast eight debut features, including “Hit the Road,” by Jafar Panahi’s son, Panah Panahi, and Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s “Murina,” a sensual and lushly-lensed coming-of-age story set along the Adriatic Sea which is executive produced by Martin Scorsese. Kusijanovic’s credits include the award-winning short “Into the Blue,” which won prizes at the Berlin and Sarajevo festivals, and earned a Student Academy Award nomination.
The section will kick off with “Between Two Worlds,” Emmanuel Carrère’s drama headlined by Juliette Binoche and based on the bestseller “Le Quai de Ouistreham.” Binoche stars as a well-known author who decides to write a book on job insecurity and sets off to experience it firsthand.
Directors’ Fortnight is headed by Paolo Moretti, who took over as artistic director in 2019, succeeding Edouard Waintrop. The section’s leadership is overseen by the SRF, the French Film Directors Guild, whose members include Céline Sciamma, Jacques Audiard and Rebecca Zlotowski.
The 53rd edition of the strand will pay tribute to Frederick Wiseman, the revered American documentary filmmaker and producer of “Ex Libris: The New York Public Library,” “Boxing Gym” and “Hospital.” Wiseman will be awarded the Carrosse d’Or on July 7, during the Directors’ Fortnight opening ceremony. Past recipients include John Carpenter and Martin Scorsese.
Directors’ Fortnight is a non-competitive section and is open to the public through a system of season tickets and individual screening tickets. This year, due to the pandemic, all Fortnight screenings will require online booking, as with the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festivals.
The section will also be organizing reruns of the selection following the festival, in Paris, Marseille and Bruxelles.
The 53rd edition of Directors’ Fortnight will be held in Cannes from July 7-17.
DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT 2021 LINEUP:
“A Chiara,” Jonas Carpignano
“A Night of Knowing Nothing,” Payal Kapadia
“Ali & Ava,” Clio Barnard
“Clara Sola,” Nathalie Álvarez Mesen
“A Brighter Tomorrow,” Yassine Qnia
“The Tsugua Diaries,” Miguel Gomes, Maureen Fazendeiro
“The Employer and the Employee,” Manuel Nieto Zas
“The Braves,” Anaïs Volpé
“Europa,” Haider Rashid
“Furuta,” Alice Rohrwacher, Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi
“Integralded,” Radu Muntean
“Hit the Road,” Panah Panahi
“Magnetic Beats,” Vincent Maël Cardona
“The Hill where Lionesses Roar,” Luàna Bajrami
“Medusa,” Anita Rocha da Silveira
“Our Men,” Rachel Lang (closing film)
“Murina,” Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović
“Neptune Frost,” Saul Williams, Anisia Uzeyman
“Between Two Worlds,” Emmanuel Carrère (opening film)
“The Tale of King Crab,” Alessio Rigo de Righi, Matteo Zoppis
“Fragments,” Jean-Gabriel Périot
“The Souvenir Part II,” Joanna Hogg
“Ripples of Life,” Shujun Wei
“The Sea Ahead,” Ely Dagher
“The Souvenir,” Joanna Hogg