Source: June Films


Cannes Critics’ Week, spotlighting first and second features, has unveiled the competition and special screenings selection for its 63rd edition running May 15-23.

Scroll down for full list of titles

Artistic director Ava Cahen, now in her third year in the position, announced the selection of 11 features chosen from 1,050 films screened. Seven films will vie for four top prizes in competition, chosen by a jury led by Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen. Nine are first films that will vie for the Camera d’Or and three are directed or co-directed by women.

The sidebar will open with French director Jonathan Millet’s debut feature Ghost Trail about a war criminal hunted down by one of his victims inspired by a true story. The French-English-Arabic-language feature is produced by rising French production house Films Grand Huit and stars Adam Bessa, who won the Un Certain Regard best actor prize for Harka in 2022. Mk2 Films is handling international sales and Memento Distribution distributes in France.

French-Moroccan director Saïd Hamich Benlarbi’s second feature Across The Sea will get a special screening slot. The 1990s-set melodrama stars Grégoire Colin, Anna Mouglalis and Ayoub Gretaa and follows the clandestine life of a Moroccan immigrant in Marseille over a decade. It is produced by Barney Production.

Also in special screenings is Alexis Langlois’ debut Queens Of Drama produced by Les Films du Poisson, which follows two rival singers in love who must navigate the trials of show business. “We laughed, we felt, we cried,” Cahen said of the film that stars Bilal Hassani, Asia Argento and Alma Jodorowsky, plus newcomers Louiza Aura and Gio Ventura.

Critics Week will close with French director Emma Benestan’s second feature Animale which Cahen described as a mix of “western, slasher, body horror, and revenge film”. Film Constellation is handling international sales and Wild Bunch will release in France.

The competition

This year’s competition features an eclectic blend of genres from several continents. Taiwanese filmmaker KEFF’s first feature Locust is a portrait of contemporary Taiwan on the brink of implosion amidst working-class protest. Mk2 Films handles international sales.

Belgian director Leonardo Van Dijl’s first feature Julie Keeps Quiet follows a young tennis player forced to speak out when her coach comes under investigation. Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales has international sales rights.

Also evoking the youth sports world is French director Antoine Chevrollier’s drama Block Pass which is set in the motocross scene and explores the friendship between two young boys put to the test amidst intolerance in their community. Pulsar Content is selling the film, which Tandem will release in France.

Argentina is represented in the selection with Federico Luis’ Simon Of The Mountain – a coming-of-age story about a boy with borderline personality disorder wrestling through life.

US director Constance Tsang’s first feature Blue Sun Palace about Chinese immigrants living in Queens stars Lee Kang-sheng, known for roles in Tsai Ming-liang films including 2020 Berlin Competition entry Days.

Brazilian director Marcelo Caetano’s romantic queer drama Baby, his follow-up to 2017 debut feature Body Electric, follows a young outsider trying to survive in São Paolo. Cahen called it “a moving, flamboyant film with charismatic actors”.

Egyptian directors Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir are in competition with their second feature The Brink Of Dreams, a documentary about a group of women who challenge tradition with their all-female theatre troupe as they embrace the transition into womanhood.

Last year’s grand prize went to Amanda Nell Eu’s coming-of-age body horror Tiger Stripes, Malaysia’s 2024 Oscar entry. 

Critics’ Week 2024

*first film


Baby (Braz-Fr-Neth)
Dir. Marcelo Caetano

Block Pass (Fr)*
Dir. Antoine Chevrollier

Blue Sun Palace (US)*
Dir. Constance Tsang

The Brink Of Dreams  (Egy-Fr-Den-Qat-UAE)
Dirs. Nada Riyadh, Ayman El Amir

Julie Keeps Quiet (Belg-Swe)*
Dir. Leonardo Van Dijl

Locust (Tai-Fr-US)*

Simon Of The Mountain (Arg-Chi-Uru)*
Dir. Federico Luis

Special screenings

Across The Sea (Fr-Mor-Belg-Qat)
Dir. Saïd Hamich Benlarbi

Animale (Fr-Bel) Closing film 
Dir. Emma Benestan 

Ghost Trail  (Fr-Ger-Belg) (Opening film)*
Dir. Jonathan Millet

Queens Of Drama (Fr-Belg)*
Dir. Alexis Langlois