After a poor showing for the UK in Official Selection, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant and Ruari Robinson’s sci-fi adventure Last Days on Mars make it into parallel Cannes section.  

Scroll down for full list of titles

Directors’ Fortnight has revealed the line-up for 45th edition running May 16-26.

A total of 21 features will screen in the parallel sidebar, 17 of them world premieres. Artistic director Edouard Waintrop said the selection committee had screened 3311 titles against 3019 last year.

As announced last Friday, Israeli director Ari Folman’s sci-fi fantasy hybrid animation The Congress will open the selection on May 16. The filmmaker was previously in Cannes with Waltz with Bashir in 2008.

“It’s perfect fit for this year’s edition,” said Waintrop. “It talks about the future of cinema — a subject which is at the heart of this year’s edition.”

Other Cannes returnees include Franco-Israeli Raphael Nadjari, back for the third time with A Strange Course of Events, and Indian Anurag Kashyap who returns with Mumbai-set thriller Ugly having shown Gangs of Wasseypur in Directors’ Fortnight in 2012.

Belgian actress Yolande Moreau, who was in the cast of the selection’s closing film Camille Rewinds last year, will premiere her first solo directorial picture Henri about the relationship between a recent widower and a mentally challenged young woman. The film will close the selection.

After a poor showing in Official Selection, the UK has two features and one short in Directors Fortnight. Clio Barnard’s contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, set in a housing estate in Bradford, and Ruairí Robinson’s sci-adventure Last Days on Mars.

Waintrop said he had fought hard for The Selfish Giant.

“I saw it in London and wept afterwards…. I still can’t talk about it without tears coming to my eyes,” said Waintrop.

“I laid siege to the film. I was calling Clio Barnard every day and then all the producers involved too.”

On Last Days of Mars, he commented: “I saw it without the special effects. The action unrolling against green screens, but I was gripped… Ruari Robinson is a young filmmaker who will go far and I think he might be called elsewhere other than the UK.”

Lynne Ramsay’s 16-minute film Swimmer will screen in the short selection alongside eight other titles. The director was last in Cannes in 2011 with We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Two veteran filmmakers will also show their latest works. The Sorrow and the Pity documentary maker Marcel Ophuls will present his autobiographical Un Voyageur featuring interviews with Elliot Erwitt, Jeanne Moreau, John Simpson and Frederick Wiseman.

The 86-year-old director showed his Oscar-winning Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie in Cannes in 1988, which sparked a near riot at the screening at the time, and was last at the festival with The Troubles We’ve Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime in 1994.

Avant-garde Franco-Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s adaptation of his autobiographical book The Dance of Reality will also screen in the section. It captures the director’s childhood in his Chilean hometown of Tocopilla before he went on to make cult pictures such as Fando and Lis, El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre.

Directors’ Fortnight will devote a whole evening to the filmmaker, teaming the screening of The Dance of Reality with Franck Pavich’s documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune about the director’s ill-fated attempt to make Dune.

Two genre pictures represent the US: Jim Mickle’s cannibal-themed We Are What We Are, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, a crowd-funded revenge film with a twist aimed at art-house and genre lovers alike according to its Kickstarter description. Saulnier’s past features include the comedy horror caper Murder Party

Chilean Sebastian Silva’s US-produced Magic, Magic about a trio of American expat students whose road-trip in Chile goes horribly wrong when one of them suffers a mental breakdown will also screen, having also premiered at Sundance earlier this year.

“It’s to discover films like this that I went into this profession,’ said Waintrop.

France makes a particularly strong showing with eight majority films and two co-productions.

They include Thierry De Peretti’s Corsica-set Les Apaches inspired by the real-life murder of a teenager by his friends on the island; Serge Bozon’s Tip Top, an adaptation of the eponymous novel by popular British writer Bill James, starring Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Kiberlain as two police offices wrongly implicated in a murder; and actor Guillaume Gallienne’s debut feature Les Garcons et Guillaume, à table, a big screen adaptation of his comic one-man show drawing on his childhood. 

“We received some 200 French features… it was a difficult selection process… there films that got away and others that we didn’t take but still feel bad about leaving out but there are only 21 slots,” said Waintrop.

Directors Fortnight is non-competitive but first-time films are eligible for the Camera d’Or prize, open to all debut films across the festival and parallel sections.

There are eight debut pictures in the selection ranging from Gallienne’s debut film to Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s Iloilo inspired by the phenomenon of Filipino nannies. Chen’s short film Grandma received a special distinction award when it screened in competition in 2007. 

Beyond the selection, Directors’ Fortnight will host a range of peripheral events this year.

These include the Taipei Factory, a joint initiative between Directors Fortnight and the Taiwan Film Commission to team four Taiwanese directors with four other filmmakers from around the world. The resulting shorts will be screened at Directors’ Fortnight.

 Other events include a tribute to Jane Campion and also the Directors’ Assembly consisting of two panels to discuss key issues impacting the film world today.

Directors’ Fortnight line-up  

Feature films

(*denotes first film eligible for the Caméra d’Or)

  • A Strange Course of Events, Raphaël Nadjari (Israël, France)
  • Les Apaches*, Thierry De Peretti (France)
  • Ate ver a luz (Après la nuit)*, Basil Da Cunha (Switzerland)
  • Blue Ruin, Jeremy Saulnier (US)
  • The Congress, Ari Folman (Israel, Germany, Poland, France, Belgium)
  • La Danza de la realidad, Alejandro Jodorowsky (France)
  • L’Escale*, Kaveh Bakhtiari (Switzerland, France)
  • La Fille du 14 Juillet*, Antonin Peretjako (France)
  • Henri, Yolande Moreau (France)
  • Ilo Ilo*, Anthony Chen (Singapore)
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune, Franck Pavich (France)
  • Last Days on Mars*, Ruairí Robinson (UK/Ireland)
  • Les Garçons et Guillaume, à table !*, Guillaume Gallienne (France)
  • Magic Magic, Sebastian Silva (US)
  • On the Job, Erik Matti (Philippines)
  • The Selfish Giant, Clio Barnard (UK)
  • Tip Top, Serge Bozon (France)
  • Ugly, Anurag Kashyap (India)
  • Un voyageur, Marcel Ophuls (France)
  • El verano de los peces voladores (L’été des poissons volants)*, Marcela Said (France, Chili) 86’
  • We Are What We Are, Jim Mickle (US)

Short films

  • Gambozinos, João Nicolau (France, Portugal)
  • Lágy Eső, Dénes Nagy (Belgium, Hungary)
  • Le Quepa sur la vilni!, Yann Le Quellec (France)
  • Man kann nicht auf einmal alles tun, aber man kann auf einmal alles lassen,Elsa Sgualdo (Switzerland)
  • O Umbra de nor, Radu Jude (Romania)
  • Pouco mais de um mês, André Novais Oliveira (Brazil)
  • Que je tombe tout le temps, Eduardo Williams (France)
  • Solecito, Oscar Ruiz Navia (Colombia, Denmark, France)
  • Swimmer, Lynne Ramsay (UK)

Taipei Factory

  • The Pig, Singing Chen (Taiwan), Jero Yun (Korea)
  • Silent Asylum, Midi Z (Taiwan), Joana Preiss (France)
  • A Nice Factory, Shen Ko-Shang (Taiwan), Luis Cifuentes (Chili)
  • Mr. Chang’s New Address, Chang Jung-Chi (Taiwan), Alireza Khatami (Iran)