Screen profiles some of the hot projects from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Nordic region and Russia that will be competing for festival spots in 2019, including new titles from Pedro Almodovar, Celine Sciamma, Roy Andersson, Matteo Garrone and the Dardenne brothers.
Our picks and the UK/Ireland are HERE.
France and Belgium
Dirs. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cannes seems a likely home for the next film directed by Croisette regulars the Dardenne brothers. Their 11th joint feature is a contemporary tale about a Belgian teen who plots to kill his teacher after embracing an extremist interpretation of the Koran. Wild Bunch head Vincent Maraval told Screen: “A strong aspect of the script is the way it opens a debate around the interpretation of the Koran by a young kid under influence.”
Contact: Wild Bunch
An Easy Girl (Fr)
Dir. Rebecca Zlotowski
For her fourth feature, Zlotowski has teamed with notorious French glamour girl Zahia Dehar for this coming-of-age tale celebrating female empowerment. Newcomer Mina Farid co-stars as an ugly-duckling adolescent who is shown the ropes by her sexually charged older cousin, played by Dehar, over the course of a Mediterranean summer.
Contact: Wild Bunch
Dir. Paul Verhoeven
In his second French-language feature, after steamy 2016 rape-revenge thriller Elle, Verhoeven explores the life of the controversial figure of Benedetta Carlini, a real-life 17th-century nun with a colourful personal life whose claims of seeing visions and developing the stigmata were discredited by the Roman Catholic Church. The feature shot in Italy over the summer with cast members including Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson.
Contact: SBS International
Update: Benedetta has been delayed until 2020
Bergman Island (Fr)
Dir. Mia Hansen-Love
Hansen-Love’s English-language debut is about a US couple who travel to the Swedish island of Faro, the home of Ingmar Bergman, for an event celebrating the late filmmaker. Their plan to complete a screenplay while there comes unstuck as fact and fiction blur amid the wild landscape and a series of colourful characters enter their lives. Bergman Island stars Vicky Krieps, Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie.
Contact: Gregoire Melin, Kinology
De Nos Freres Blessés (Fr)
Dir. Hélier Cisterne
Vicky Krieps and rising actor Vincent Lacoste co-star in this romance set against the backdrop of the Battle of Algiers in 1956. Lacoste plays a French militant on the side of Algerian independence fighters accused of attempting to bomb a factory, with Krieps as his wife Helene. Having shown his shorts at Cannes Critics’ Week, Cisterne won the Louis-Delluc best first film prize for 2013’s Vandal. De Nos Freres Blessés is produced by Paris-based Les Films du Bélier.
Contact: Jean-Félix Dealberto, Charades
Oh Mercy (Fr)
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin
In a change of genre, Cannes habitué Desplechin presents his first detective thriller, set against the backdrop of his native town of Roubaix in northern France. Oh Mercy is loosely inspired by a real-life crime in which two women murdered an elderly woman. Roschdy Zem and Antoine Reinartz co-star as police detectives, opposite Léa Seydoux and Sara Forestier as the suspects.
Contact: Wild Bunch
A Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (Fr)
Dir. Céline Sciamma
After gritty contemporary features Girlhood, Tomboy and Water Lilies, Sciamma turns to costume drama with the backdrop of 18th-century Brittany. Adele Haenel (120 BPM (Beats Per Minute), The Unknown Girl) co-stars as Héloise, a convent-raised woman on the cusp of marriage who embarks on a relationship with Marianne, the artist commissioned to paint her wedding portrait, played by Valeria Golino.
Contact: Fionnuala Jamison, mk2 Films
The Prince’s Voyage (Fr)
Dir. Jean-Francois Laguionie
Animation maestro Laguionie, whose credits include the award-winning A Monkey’s Tale, The Painting and Louise By The Shore, explores the world of monkeys again but this time places his simian protagonists in a backdrop inspired by 19th-century Paris. The philosophical tale revolves around an elderly monkey prince who wakes up injured and disoriented in an environment he does not recognise. He navigates this new urban world with the support of a young monkey called Tom.
Contact: Delphyne Besse, Urban Distribution International
Pure As Snow (Fr)
Dir. Anne Fontaine
After dramas Reinventing Marvin and The Innocents, Fontaine returns to comedy with a contemporary retelling of Snow White laced with a dose of erotica. Isabelle Huppert stars as the evil stepmother who plots to get rid of her stepdaughter, played by Lou de Laage. Cast out from the family home, the young woman finds shelter in a barn when she meets seven young princes.
Contact: Cécile Gaget, Gaumont
Dir. Justine Triet
Triet reunites with actress Virginie Efira after their collaboration on 2016 comedy drama In Bed With Victoria. Efira stars as a jaded psychotherapist and wannabe writer who becomes obsessed with the chaotic life of a troubled young actress played by Adele Exarchopoulos.
Contact: Fionnuala Jamison, mk2 Films
About Endlessness (Swe-Nor-Ger-Fr)
Dir. Roy Andersson
Andersson, the Swedish auteur not known for hurrying his process, could be quicker than usual to make a Cannes launch for his follow-up to A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, winner of the 2014 Venice Golden Lion. Andersson teased some footage at Seville Film Festival in November.
Contact: Coproduction Office
The County (Ice-Den-Ger-Fr)
Dir. Grimur Hakonarson
Hakonarson, whose Rams sold to more than 50 countries and won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2015, returns with The County, the story of a middle-aged dairy farmer who has to fight against injustice in her community after her husband dies. The team presented a work-in-progress preview at Les Arcs in December.
Contact: Jan Naszewski, New Europe Film Sales
Master Cheng (Fin-China-UK)
Dir. Mika Kaurismaki
Kaurismaki’s film tells the story of a professional cook from China who travels to a remote Finnish village with his young son, to reconnect with a friend. He cannot find the friend but bonds with the locals when he cooks for them. The film shot in Finnish Lapland and Hangzhou, China.
Contact: The Yellow Affair
Out Stealing Horses (Nor)
Dir. Hans Petter Moland
Norwegian director Moland (In Order Of Disappearance) has adapted Per Petterson’s novel about a 67-year-old man who must recall difficult experiences of his youth after meeting a face from the past. Stellan Skarsgard stars.
Dir. Jeanette Nordahl
Danish producers Snowglobe have had a recent string of festival hits (Birds Of Passage, Godless, Petra) and their latest is Nordahl’s directing debut Wildland. The gritty female-driven crime drama set in rural Denmark has a cast including Sidse Babett Knudsen and 2019 EFP Shooting Star Elliott Crosset Hove.
Contact: Bac Films
Aquilo Que Arde (Sp)
Dir. Oliver Laxe
Laxe’s latest feature, Aquilo Que Arde (its English title provisionally A Sun That Never Sets), is a film likely to attract attention following the director’s success in Cannes with You Are All Captains (Todos Vos Sedes Capitans) and Mimosas. Shot in the north of Spain, the drama tells the story of an arsonist who returns home to a remote village in the mountains after serving a prison sentence.
Contact: Pyramide Films
Love Me Not (Sp-Mex)
Dir. Lluis Miñarro
The second film to be directed by renowned Spanish producer Miñarro is a loose interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s Salome. The story has been relocated to the contemporary Middle East, shooting in Catalonia and Mexico. Ingrid Garcia Jonsson, Francesc Orella and Lola Dueñas star. Miñarro and Mexico’s Piano Producciones Cinematograficas are producing the film, which is understood to be completed.
Contact: Reel Suspects
Pain & Glory (Sp)
Dir. Pedro Almodovar
It would be a surprise if Almodovar’s latest does not premiere at Cannes. Pain & Glory (Dolor Y Glory) stars the director’s regulars Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz in a story about a filmmaker in decline who decides to visit various people from his past. Sony Pictures Classics has snapped up US rights.
Contact: FilmNation Entertainment
Freaks Out (It)
Dir. Gabriele Mainetti
Actor/filmmaker/composer Mainetti’s second film as director, following 2015’s They Call Me Jeeg, is a historical fantasy about four abandoned circus employees left to wander Rome during the Second World War. It is produced by Goon Films, Lucky Red and Rai Cinema.
China, Spain, Latin America contact: True Colours Rest of world contact: Rai Com
Dir. Matteo Garrone
Just one year after Dogman, Garrone is back on set directing Roberto Benigni as Geppetto. The cast also includes Dogman lead actor Marcello Fonte. Garrone’s Archimede is producing with Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte, Jeremy Thomas’s Recorded Picture Company and Rai Cinema. The film is expected to be ready this year.
Contact: HanWay Films
The Traitor (It-Fr-Braz-Ger)
Dir. Marco Bellocchio
Shooting has just wrapped on Bellocchio’s new film about real-life mafia informant Tommaso Buscetta, who worked with the police to arrest the big mafia chiefs of the 1990s. Pierfrancesco Favino stars as Tommaso in the film, which is produced by IBC Movie, Kavac Film, Rai Cinema, Gullane, Match Factory Productions, Ad Vitam and Arte France Cinéma.
Contact: The Match Factory
All My Loving (Ger)
Dir. Edward Berger
After directing high-end TV series such as Deutschland 83 and Patrick Melrose, Berger returns to the cinema for the first time since his award-winning second feature Jack with All My Loving (Geschwister). Lars Eidinger, Hans Löw and co-screenwriter Nele Mueller-Stöfen play three siblings who have reached a point in their lives where something has to change.
Contact: Beta Cinema
The Audition (Ger)
Dir. Ina Weisse
Nina Hoss, best known for roles in Christian Petzold’s Phoenix and Yella, plays a violin teacher in conflict with her profession in The Audition — actress Weisse’s second outing as feature film director. It also marks her second collaboration with the Greek-born screenwriter Daphne Charizani following her debut feature The Architect in 2008.
Contact: Tess Massé, Les Films du Losange
Sabre Dance (Rus)
Dir. Yusup Razykov
Razykov’s biopic of composer Aram Khachaturian could be a Cannes or Karlovy Vary candidate. It tells the true story of how the Kirov Theatre was evacuated from Leningrad to Perm to escape the Germans’ military blockade of the city. Even though it was a time of suffering, Khachaturian managed to write his most famous composition, ‘Sabre Dance’.
Contact: Mars Media
Dir. Andrei Konchalovsky
Festival programmers keen on agony, ecstasy and fine art will be intrigued by Konchalovsky’s latest feature about artist Michelangelo. Oligarch and former Arsenal FC shareholder Alisher Usmanov is one of the backers of the ambitious project, shot in Italy, starring Alberto Testone — and for which the Sistine Chapel was reportedly reconstructed in full. Rai Cinema is the Italian backer, now in post-production.
Contact: Rai Com