Although the 2020 edition of the Cannes Film Festival was already meant to have taken place last month with Spike Lee as head of the Jury, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused events to be postponed worldwide. Only now is the prestigious festival’s official selection being announced, without the usual fanfare of a busy press conference on La Croisette.
Streaming from an eerily empty cinema, festival president Pierre Lescure talked through the list of films lucky enough to be stamped with the Cannes label. Notable titles include Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch starring Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Timothée Chalamet; Francis Lee’s lesbian period drama Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan; and the next Studio Ghibli venture Aya and the Witch. Steve McQueen has two entries in the selection, Mangrove and Lover’s Rock, and France’s ‘monsieur extreme’ François Ozon will debut his next film, The Summer of 85. Peninsula, Sang-ho Yeon’s sequel to the highly acclaimed Train to Busan, has also found its place on the line-up, as has Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling. With Pixar, Ghibli, Wes Anderson, French Auteurs, American stalwarts, arthouse debuts and comedies, the line-up is undeniably varied.
See the full official selection via the festival website.
With this year’s festival not able to enjoy a normal glitzy physical edition with its famous steps, red carpets and glamorous premieres, it will be interesting to see how this affects the reception of the films being screened and the subsequent effect on publicity, release and awards season.
”Because there won’t be any screenings on the Croisette as per the tradition of the festival, we have grouped the presented titles in one single list, without placing them in the usual categories of Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, Midnight Screenings or Special Screenings,” said Frémaux.Thierry Frémaux, Cannes Film Festival Delegate
Last year was a big year for the Cannes Film Festival. Parasite won the coveted Palme d’Or before going on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood also premiered last year, as did Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Pain and Glory and The Lighthouse. With the outlook of cinema and awards season in the coming months still unclear, it’s yet to see what impact this year’s Cannes Film Festival will have.
Words by Steph Green