Jury Official Camera D'Or Photocall - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
Jury Official Camera D'Or Photocall - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
Image: Getty

The Cannes Film Festival takes place over 12 days every year in May and is the world’s largest international showcase of cinematic art.  The 71st edition of the festival, which started on May 8 and ends on May 19, will see actors, actresses and filmmakers from around the world walk the glitzy red carpet at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, in Cannes, France. Unlike The Oscars, anyone can submit a film, providing a platform for up-and-comers of all nationalities to display their work to top influencers in the industry.  

Here are 7 films sure to generate hype at this year’s festival:


Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller, which was this year’s festival opener, provides a realistic look at the cracks in family life. The exceptional Spanish cast includes Penelope Cruz, her husband Javier Bardem and Argentinean actor Ricardo Darin. Cruz plays a Spaniard living in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires who returns to her childhood village outside Madrid with her husband and children to celebrate the marriage of her sister. “What was meant to be a brief visit is upset by unexpected events that change all their lives.”

WATCH | Everybody Knows (Todos lo Saben) trailer:


This neo-noir comedy drama is written and directed by US filmmaker David Robert Mitchell, who made headlines at Cannes four years ago with the low-budget horror film It Follows. This year, Mitchell’s film is about an aimless man from Los Angeles who becomes a detective when his neighbour goes missing. Andrew Garfield stars in the psychedelic mystery as Sam, a disenchanted 33-year-old who becomes obsessed with secret codes, conspiracy and urban legends while searching for the neighbour.

WATCH | Under the Silver Lake trailer:


Directed by Lars von Trier, this film, set in 1970s America, spreads over a 12 year period and follows the development of Jack Built, a highly intelligent serial killer who postulates each murder he commits as an artwork. The dark and sinister story – which is also philosophical and occasionally humorous - is told from the point of view of Jack (Matt Dillon). Uma Thurman, Bruno Ganz and Sofie Grabol also feature in the film, one of the festival’s most anticipated entries.

WATCH | The House That Jack Built trailer:


Director Spike Lee is no stranger to the Cannes Film Festival, having won awards for his 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It and his 1991 interracial romance Jungle Fever. Lee is in the running for the Palme d’Or this year with BlacKkKlansman, a true story about Ron Stallworth, an African-American policeman from Colorado, who successfully infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the area. The film is produced by Academy Award-nominated director Jordan Peele (Get Out) and stars Adam Driver, Topher Grace and Denzel Washington’s son, John David, in the leading role.


Selected in the Un Certain Regard section, Wanuri Kahiu’s film tackles the taboo subject of homosexuality in East Africa in the form of a modern African love story. She tells the story of schoolgirls Kena and Ziki who fall in love during a Kenyan election campaign, which their fathers are fighting on opposing sides.  “When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.” The film has been banned in Kenya where same-sex relations are criminalised, and carry a jail sentence of up to 14 years. The film stars Samantha Mugatsia as Kena and Sheila Munyiva as Ziki. Rafiki is co-produced by South African Steven Markovitz.

WATCH | Rafiki trailer:


German Director Wim Wenders’ documentary is not supposed to be a biography but rather a personal journey with Pope Francis. Wenders was given unprecedented access to the pope over the two years it took to produce A Man of his Word and “the result is a film whose exploration of the pontiff’s ideas and messages guarantees it a five-star rave in the Vatican’s in-house newspaper”.

WATCH | Pope Francis: A Man of His Word trailer:


Terry Gilliam’s world premiere of this film will close this year’s festival on May 19. Adam Driver plays Toby, a cynical advertising director who finds himself trapped in the delusions of an old Spanish shoemaker, who believes he is Don Quixote. Jonathan Pryce stars in the film as a contemporary version of Sancho Panza.

WATCH | The Man Who Killed Don Quixote trailer:

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