New films by Wes Anderson and Alice Rohrwacher compete for Palme d’Or at Cannes

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New films by Wes Anderson, Alice Rohrwacher, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Todd Haynes and Wim Wenders will compete for the Cannes Film Festival’s coveted top honour, the Palme d’Or, as will a record number of films directed by women.

Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux and president Iris Knobloch, who took over the post last year from Pierre Lescure, announced a lineup heavy on big-name international auteurs, along with some new faces, in a press conference on Thursday in Paris.

Among the 19 films selected for Cannes’ prestigious competition are Anderson’s sci-fi homage Asteroid City, Wenders’ Perfect Days; Kor-eda’s Monster; Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera and Haynes’ May December, a romance with Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore.

Ken Loach, long a Cannes regular, will return with The Old Oak. Jonathan Glazer will premiere his first feature since 2013’s Under The Skin with his Martin Amis adaptation Zone Of Interest.

After a scaled-down 2021 event and a comeback festival in 2022, this year’s Cannes finds the festival back on level ground and its organisers triumphant that their mission, celebrating the best in world cinema as an inherently theatrical experience, has persevered.

“The films are back in theatres and the public is back in theatres,” said Knobloch.

“The moviemakers, the artists, the professionals are all in agreement. Nothing can replace the cultural event represented by a release in a theatre for a movie.”

Joining Rohrwacher, the Italian director of Happy As Lazzaro, in competition are five more female directors: France’s Catherine Breillat with Last Summer, Austria’s Jessica Hausner with Club Zero; France’s Justine Triet’s Anatomy Of A Fall; Senegalese-French director Ramata-Toulaye Sy with Banel & Adama; and Tunisia’s Kaouther Ben Hania with the documentary Olfa’s Daughters.

Cannes has often come under criticism for selecting few films by women for its prestigious competition lineup.

Only two female filmmakers have ever won the Palme d’Or: Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano and Julia Ducournau in 2021 for Titane. While six out of 19 films is a new high, it still falls below the parity that some have sought.

Cannes Indiana Jones
Boyd Holbrook in a scene from Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny (Lucasfilm Ltd/AP)

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny will debut in Cannes, along with a special tribute to Harrison Ford, as will Martin Scorsese’s Killers Of The Flower Moon, his big-budget adaptation for Apple of David Grann’s non-fiction bestseller.

Fremaux said he urged Scorsese to screen Killers Of The Flower Moon in competition at the festival, but it is not currently scheduled to compete for the Palme.

On Tuesday, Cannes said that the Pedro Almodovar short Strange Way Of Life, with Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, will also premiere at the festival.

Cannes gets under way on May 16 with the opening-night selection Jeanne Du Barry, starring Johnny Depp as King Louis XV.

The film, directed by and co-starring the French actress and filmmaker Maiwenn, has been billed as Depp’s comeback film following his explosive trial last year with Amber Heard, his ex-wife. The festival runs until May 27.

The much-anticipated HBO series The Idol, from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and starring the Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp, will also debut in Cannes.

Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years A Slave and the film anthology Small Axe, will present his Occupied City, a documentary about Amsterdam under Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

The jury that will decide the Palme d’Or will this year be led by the Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund, a two-time Palme winner.

After winning Cannes’ top honour for 2017’s The Square, Ostlund won last year for the social satire Triangle Of Sadness.

Cannes is coming off a movie year that has reinforced the French festival’s position as arguably the premiere international launching pad for film.

Three of this year’s best-picture nominees at the Oscars premiered in Cannes: Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis and Triangle Of Sadness.

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