Cannes contenders 2024

Source: Warner Bros Ent / Mubi / American Zoetrope / Sixteen Films/Goodfellas

[Clockwise from top left]: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’, ‘Bring Them Down’, ‘Megalopolis’, ‘On Falling’

The film industry is buzzing over which titles could make the line-up for the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 14-25 this year.

The submission process for Official Selection officially closed on March 15, ahead of the Paris press conference on April 11. George Miller’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga has been confirmed to premiere out of competition on May 15.

As the festival’s selection team sifts through this year’s entries, Screen’s team assesses which films from around the world in line for a slot in either Official Selection or one of the parallel sections.


US selections could include Sean Baker’s sex workers romantic comedy Anora, his follow-up to 2021 Competition entry Red Rocket and 2019 Directors’ Fortnight selection The Florida Project.

Word has it Harmony Korine could land a Midnight slot with his new film Baby Invasion. Canada’s David Cronenberg could also be dusting down his tuxedo for a return to the Croisette with horror thriller The Shrouds starring Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger and Guy Pearce. 

Mexican provocateur Michel Franco has a new film Dreams with Jessica Chastain, who starred opposite Peter Sarsgard in last year’s Memory. Screen was unable to confirm the status of the project.

It is understood new films by two of Latin America’s most high-profile filmmakers will not be ready in time. Pablo Larrain’s Maria Callas biopic Maria starring Angelina Jolie looks set for a Venice premiere, following the pattern of last year’s El Conde, as well as recent Larrain works Spencer, Ema and Jackie.

Chocobar, Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s documentary about the environmental activist Javier Chocobar, has been in the works for a long time and is expected to make its bow later this year.

Other potential selections from Latin America include The Freshly Cut Grass from Martin Scorsese’s Argentinian protegée Celina Murga. The story about love and double standards is produced by Infinity Hill, which was behind last season’s Argentinian Oscar nominee Argentina, 1985.

Another possible entry from Argentina is Luis Ortega’s Kill The Jockey about a gifted jockey who falls foul of a mobster to whom he owes his life. A strong Latin American cast includes Bardo lead Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ema lead Mariana Di Girólamo and Daniel Fanego from The Angel. Ortega caused a splash with his 2018 Cannes Un Certain Regard crime drama An Angel.

Inside Out 2 c Disney Pixar

Source: Disney / Pixar

‘Inside Out 2’

Alongside Furiosa, other arrivals from the Hollywood studios could include Pixar’s Inside Out 2 from Kelsey Mann and featuring a voice cast of Amy Poehler, Tony Hale and Maya Hawke; and John Krasinksi’s family fantasy IF at Paramount.

Yorgos Lanthimos’s Kinds Of Kindness, his next film at Searchlight Pictures with Oscar-winning Poor Things lead Emma Stone as well as that film’s Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley, is looking like a solid Cannes prospect given the June 21 US release date.

RaMell Ross’s The Nickel Boys from Plan B at Amazon MGM Studios’ Orion Pictures is a strong possible selection. It hails from the director of Sundance 2018 entry Hale County This Morning, This Evening and is an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s (The Underground Railroad) Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a Black boy sent to a notorious Florida reform school in the 1960s. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Ethan Herisse, Brandon Wilson, and Fred Hechinger star.

And it now seems Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis may not be ready in time – but what a return to the Croisette that would be for the double Palme d’Or winning-director of The Conversation and Apocalypse Now.

UK and Ireland

Frewaka_New Europe Film Sales

Source: New Europe Film Sales


There are several UK debuts in the mix for Cannes sidebars, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Molly Manning Walker’s Un Certain Regard 2023 winner How To Have Sex.

In the mix is She Said writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s first directorial outing Hot Milk, an adaptation of Deborah Levy’s novel of the same name, starring Emma Mackey, Fiona Shaw and Vicky Krieps, plus the narrative feature debut of Sandhya Suri, neo-noir India-set Santosh, produced by Mike Goodridge’s Good Chaos. Goodridge’s Cannes credits include Palme d’Or winner Triangle Of Sadness and 2023 Competition title Club Zero.

Nadia Fall’s debut Brides is also being talked about as a Cannes potential. Two teenage girls in 2015, in search of freedom, friendship and belonging, run away from their troubled lives in a seaside town with a misguided plan of travelling to Syria. Nicky Bentham produces through London-based Neon Films, alongside Marica Stocchi of Rome-based Rosamont.

Scotland-based Portuguese filmmaker Laura Carreira’s debut On Falling, about a Portuguese warehouse picker working in Scotland, is a contender. It is produced by Jack Thomas-O’Brien through Ken Loach and Rebecca O’Brien’s production company Sixteen Films – an outfit that has plenty of experience on the Croisette. Sixteen Films has also produced Athina Rachel Tsangari’s latest, Harvest, which could make an appearance.

Another Scottish possibility is Sean Robert Dunn’s under-the-radar debut The Fall Of Sir Douglas Weatherford, which should be ready in time. Scottish filmmaker Dunn’s shorts have played at Venice, Locarno and BFI London Film Festival. It is backed by Mubi, BBC Film, BFI and Screen Scotland.

Andrea Arnold could also be heading back to Cannes with Bird. Her Kent-shot feature stars Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogowski. Arnold has a long relationship with Cannes, winning the jury prize for Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey, while her documentary Cow screened in the fledgling Premiere section in 2021.

Rungano Nyoni’s On Becoming A Guinea Fowl is also in a good position owing to Nyoni’s long-standing relationship with Cannes. Her debut feature I Am Not A Witch bowed in Directors’ Fortnight in 2017, and prior to that she took part in the Cannes’ Cinéfondation residence.

This could be an exciting year for Ireland in Cannes. As well as the Element Pictures-produced Kinds Of Kindness, a couple of debuts produced and shot in Ireland are understood to be possibilities: Barry Keoghan and Christopher Abbott star in UK filmmaker Chris Andrews’ Wicklow-shot debut Bring Them Down, a drama rooted in an isolated farming community, and unfolding partly in the Irish language; and Greek-French actor Ariane Labed’s Element Pictures-produced debut September Says, an adaptation of Daisy Johnson’s gothic novel Sisters. Both have backing from Screen Ireland and Mubi.

Another one to look out for is Irish-language title Fréwaka which is generating buzz. Aislinn Clarke’s feature debut is a horror that revolves around a care worker sent to a remote village to look after an agoraphobic woman. Babak Anvari’s Wicklow-shot and Screen Ireland-backed Hallow Road starring Rosamund Pike and Matthew Rhys could be on the horizon.  

Plus, there are UK and Irish elements in US director Joshua Oppenheimer’s apocalyptic musical The End. Denmark’s Final Cut is the majority producer, in co-production with Ireland, Germany, Italy and the UK, and starring Tilda Swinton and George MacKay. It shot in Ireland, Italy and Germany.


'Planet B'

Source: Carole Bethuel

‘Planet B’

Many familiar French filmmakers are likely to be present on the Croisette, including veteran auteur Jacques Audiard, who has competed in Cannes Competition five times, winning the Palme d’Or with 2015’s Dheepan. His latest feature Emilia Perez is a Mexico-set musical crime drama about a cartel boss who undergoes a sex change, starring Spain’s Karla Sofia Gascon alongside Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldana and Edgar Ramirez. 

Christophe Honore’s 15th feature Marcello Mio is a hot contender – he has previously premiered six films in Cannes, although his last film, Winter Boy, bowed in Toronto in 2022. His latest is a reimagining of the daily life of actors, and stars an ensemble cast including mother-daughter duo Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni, Fabrice Luchini and the UK’s Hugh Skinner.

It’s Not Me, from Leos Carax, is described as a freeform mash-up of the filmmaker’s 40-year-plus career, and reteams him with producer Charles Gillibert of CG Cinema. It also stars regular Carax collaborator Denis Lavant, who has appeared in the like of Lovers On The Bridge, Bad Blood and Holy Motors, which premiered in Cannes Competition in 2012.

‘What does it mean to go the movies?’ is the festival-friendly question posed by Cannes regular Arnaud Desplechin’s anticipated Spectateurs!, a filmgoer’s coming-of-age tale staring Mathieu Amalric, Francoise Lebrun and Anatomy Of A Fall’s Milo Machado Garner.

Another hot prospect is Audrey Diwan’s Hong Kong-set update of French erotic classic Emmanuelle, starring Naomi Watts, Will Sharpe and Noemie Merlant. 

Actress/filmmaker Merlant may also be gracing the Croisette as a director, with her second film The Balconettes; she premiered her debut Mi Lubita Mon Amour at the festival in 2020. Merlant’s co-writer on the film, which tells of three flatmates who meddle in the lives of their neighbours, is Celine Sciamma, who directed Merlant in her 2019 Cannes Competition entry Portrait Of A Lady On Fire.

Also looking likely is the latest from Gilles Lelouche, whose Sink Or Swim premiered in Cannes 2018. Beating Hearts stars François Civil and Adèle Exarchopoulos as star-crossed lovers caught up in gang violence, and will be released in France in October. Exarchopoulos also stars in another Cannes contender, dystopian thriller Planet B, which is Aude Lea Rapin’s follow-up to her 2019 Director’s Fortnight feature Heroes Don’t Die.

Another probable returnee is Emmanuel Mouret, who was last at Cannes in 2022 with Diary Of A Fleeting Affair. His latest Three Friends stars Camille Cottin, Sara Forestier and India Hair as three friends with different views on love. 

Love is also central to Marjane Satrapi’s Dear Paris, which has an ensemble cast including Monica Bellucci, Rossy De Palma and Ben Aldridge. Satrapi previously co-directed Persepolis with Vincent Parannaud, which won the jury prize in Cannes in 2007 before going on to be nominated for an Oscar. Parannaud may also be present on the Croisette with 3D animation Into The Wonderwoods, co-directed with Alexis Ducord. This adaptation of Paronnaud’s own comic book (written under the pseudonym Winshluss) follows a 10-year-old boy who discovers a mysterious woodland world.

Another buzzy animation is The Most Precious Of Cargoes, from Oscar-winning The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius. The film is a Second World War drama adapted from Jean-Claude Grumberg’s novel about a baby boy who is thrown from an Auschwitz-bound train and raised by a woodcutter’s wife.

Fellow literary adaptation And Their Children After Them, Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma’s dramatisation of Nicolas Mathieu Prix’s novel, follows teenagers across several summers in post-industrial Eastern France. The Boukhermas made their debut in Cannes’ ACID with Willy The 1st in 2016.

Also coming from the world of literature, Saint-Ex is a live-action biopic of aviator and The Little Prince author Antonine de Saint-Exupery starring Louis Garrel, Diane Kruger and Vincent Cassel. Director Pablo Aguero has previously played Directors Fortnight in 2008 with Salamandra.

Having just had two films premiere in Berlin – A Traveller’s Needs and My New Friends – two-time Cannes best actress winner Isabelle Huppert may be walking a Cannes red carpet this year for Les Prisonnieres, directed by Patricia Mazuy. Huppert stars alongside Hafsia Herzi as women who develop an unlikely friendship when their husbands are inmates in the same prison. Mazuy previously directed Huppert in The Kings Daughter, which premiered in Un Certain Regard in 2000.

Another red carpet potential is Romain Duris, who stars in Night Call. This survival thriller is directed by Michiel Blanchart, whose 2021 short You’re Dead Helene was shortlisted for an Oscar and is set for a US feature adaptation produced by Sam Raimi.

There is ample buzz around Monsieur Aznavour, directed by Mehdi Idir and French rap star Grand Corps Malade and starring Tahar Rahim as legendary Armenian-born French singer Charles Aznavour, who sang in 10 languages.

Other French possibilities include Camille Perron’s Arenas, a thriller set in the world of pro football; The Divine Sarah Bernhardt, Guillame Nicloux’s biopic of the iconic French actress played by Sandrine Kiberlain; and Jessica Palud’s Maria, which stars Anamaria Vartolomei as real-life actress Maria Schneider and Matt Dillon as her Last Tango In Paris co-star Marlon Brando.

French sales agents are also handling two Croisette hopefuls by international directors. Pathe International is handling Limonov: The Ballad Of Eddie by dissident Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, based on the novel by Emmanuel Carrère. Ben Whishaw stars as the Russian politician, poet and opposition figure Eduard Limonov, with the film traversing the second half of the 20th century and Moscow, New York, Paris and Siberia.  

And mk2 Films is hoping to take Everybody Loves Touda by Franco-Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch to Cannes. It is about a poet and singer raising her deaf-mute son in a small village who heads to Casablanca in search of a better life. Ayouch has co-written the screenplay with his wife and actress, filmmaker Maryam Touzani.


'Close To The Sultan'

Source: Screen File

‘Close To The Sultan’

With big names like Pedro Almodovar, Oliver Laxe and Carla Simon in production on their latest projects, the Spanish contenders for Cannes are mostly rising stars. 

The exception is Cannes regular Albert Serra who has recently completed Afternoons Of Solitude, a documentary about bullfighting, but word is that it is eying a San Sebastian bow.

More likely to feature on the Croisette is Javier Rebollo’s Close To The Sultan, which tells of an early 20th-century sultan becoming introduced to the cinematograph with the help of a former operator for the Lumiere brothers. The film is produced by Luis Minarro, who produced Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2010 Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. 

Pilar Palomero has seen her first two features enjoy festival premieres: Schoolgirls bowed at Berlin in 2020 before winning four Goyas including best new director, while La Maternal debuted at San Sebastián. Now a Cannes unveiling could be on the cards for her third feature Glimmer, which stars Patricia Lopez Arnaiz as a divorced woman who re-establishes contact with her ex husband.

Cannes regular Jaime Rosales, who has premiered five previous films at the festival including, most recently, Petra in 2018, may be back at Cannes for a sixth time with Morlaix. Shot in the titular Brittany region in France, it stars Melanie Thierry and tells the story of a high-school student who is torn between her childhood sweetheart and a newcomer.

Fernando Trueba’s romantic thriller A Haunted Heart starring Matt Dillon, Aida Folch and Juan Pablo Urrego, is also a potential contender. He was most recently selected for the ill-fated 2020 edition with Memories Of My Father. 

Having enjoyed festival success with previous films including The Days To Come which premiered at Rotterdam in 2019 and 10,000 KM (SXSW 2014), Carlos Marques-Marcet could makes his Cannes debut with They Will Be Dust. Written by 10,000 KM scribe Clara Roque, who directed 2021 Cannes Critics Week title Libertad, the musical stars Angelina Molina as a terminally ill woman who decides to travel to Switzerland to end her life.

Another musical in contention for a Cannes premiere is animation Rock Bottom, inspired by the life and works of ex-Soft Machine vocalist and drummer Robert Wyatt and lyricist-artist Alfreda Beige. Helmed by first-time feature director Maria Ternor, the film will use the original songs of Wyatt’s album Rock Bottom.


After playing Cannes with his previous two features, Sweat (2020) and The Hereafter (2015), Sweden’s Magnus von Horn could well be back with his latest, The Girl In The Needle. This black and white period drama stars Trine Dyrholm and Vic Carmen Sonne and is loosely inspired by a serial killer who murdered numerous infants between 1913 and 1920.   

Another likely returnee is Icelandic filmmaker Runar Runarsson, whose When The Light Breaks tells of a young art student whose life is turned upside down during one long summer’s day in Reykjavik. Runarsson previously played Cannes Directors Fortnight with Volcano (2011) and won San Sebastián’s Golden Shell with Sparrows in 2015.

Potentially travelling to Cannes from Finland is Orenda, from veteran filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo whose played Cannes competition with Flame Top (1981) and whose previous award-winning films include Concrete Night (2013) and 3 Rooms Of Melancholia (2004). Orenda is a relationship drama starring Tove and Fallen Leaves breakout Alma Pöysti alongside Pirkko Saisio, who also writes the screenplay. 

Finally, two Swedish films which may grace the Croisette are Armand, the elementary school-set debut feature from Halfdan Ullman Tondel (the grandson of Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman) starring Renate Reinsve; and Jon Skoog’s Redoubt, starring French actor Denis Lavant as a farmer caught on the tide of history and produced by Erik Hemmendorff, who also produced 2022 Palme d’Or winner Triangle Of Sadness.


Leading the Benelux pack is majority Dutch co-production Mr K starring Crispin Glover as the titular protagonist who spends a night in a remote hotel, only to find he is unable to leave the building. It is the second film by Norway-born, Netherlands-based director Tallulah H. Schwab, whose 2014 debut feature Confetti Harvest played Berlin’s Generation KPlus.

Another strong possibility is Milano from Belgian filmmaker Christina Vanderkerckhove, whose 2017 documentary Rhabot played various festivals including Rotterdam. Milano is about a 12-year-old deaf boy who finds his relationship with his father put under pressure when his estranged mother returns.

Directors Leonardo Van Dijl and Jan and Raf Roosens have both had shorts selected for Cannes in years past. Now both are hoping to land at Cannes with their feature debuts. Julie Keeps Quiet, the feature debut of Belgian director Van Dijl, is set in the world of professional tennis and follows a young player who chooses to remain silent when her coach comes under investigation.

Also from Belgium, the Roosens played in Cannes Competition with their 2015 short Buddy, and are eyeing a return with debut feature Come Back. Also written by the pair, the film follows a 13-year-old girl who tries to fit into the techno world of her DJ mother while searching for her own identity and talent. It stars Veerle Baetens.

Asia and Australia  


Source: Plus M


At least two Australian films could debut on the Croisette. Crime thriller Inside stars Guy Pearce as a soon-to-be-released prisoner and one of two father figures to an inmate transferred from a juvenile facility. It is directed by first-time feature director Charles Willams who won the  2018 short-film Palme d’Or for All These Creatures.

The second is Adam Elliot’s stop-motion animation Memoir Of A Snail, which tells the story of Grace Puddle, hoarder of snails, romance novels and guinea pigs. Jacki Weaver, Eric Bana and Kodi Smit-McPhee are among the voice cast. Eliot won an Oscar for his short Harvie Krumpet, and his 2009 debut feature Mary And Max picked up a major prize at Annecy. Arenamedia are producers.

Japan could be represented on the Croisette by the prolific Kiyoshi Kurosawa with his French-language thriller Serpent’s Path stars Ko Shibasaki and Damien Bonnard. The film is an adaptation of Kurosawa’s 1998 Japanese feature of the same name, in which a man enlists a friend to help him exact revenge upon his daughter’s murderer. In this remake, the main character is a woman – played by Shibasaki – and all events take place in France.

Kurosawa is a Cannes regular, playing in Competition in 2003 with Bright Future; winning the Un Certain Regard jury prize with Tokyo Sonata in 2008; and winning the directing prize in 2015 with Journey To The Shore.  

From Korea, Oh Seung-uk’s Revolver is a frontrunner. Jeon Do-yeon – a Cannes best actress winner in 2017 for Secret Sunshine – stars as a former police officer out for revenge after serving a prison sentence for someone else and finding that the promised compensation for this has disappeared. Jeon previously starred in Oh’s The Shameless which played in Un Certain Regard in 2015.  

Another Korean hopeful is Beterang 2 from Korean blockbuster director Ryu Seung-wan (Veteran, Smugglers), while Hong Kong filmmaker Soi Cheang’s 1980s-set action thriller Twilight Of The Warriors: Walled In is widely anticipated to make its debut on the Croisette. Formerly known as Kowloon Walled City and starring Louis Koo and Sammo Hung, the film is set in the eponymous lawless laby­rinth where a group of immigrants and outlaws battle a triad gang sent by the British Hong Kong government to demolish their haven.