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  • Writer's pictureAlexa Bouhelier-Ruelle

Cannes Film Festival: New additions to the 2023 Official Selection

Just when we thought 52 films were enough, the Festival added a slew of new films for the judges to consider.

Two new films have been added to the Competition lineup: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s “Black Flies” and Catherine Corsini’s “Le Retour”. Sauvaire’s thriller stars Tye Sheridan opposite Sean Penn as a rookie paramedic paired with a veteran on a drive through New York. While Corsini’s mother-and-daughter drama “Le Retour” is the seventh female-directed film in Competition. Allegations of inappropriate behaviour on the Corsica-based set – detailed in reports by French newspapers Le Parisien and Libération – forced the festival to put its selection on hold, while it looked into the matter.

The Cannes Premiere section has been bolstered with Mexican director Amat Escalante’s “Lost in The Night” (Perdidos en la Noche); French director Valérie Donzelli’s “Just the Two of Us” (L’Amour et Les Forêts) and Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso’s “Eureka”. Escalante won Best Director for “Heli” at Cannes in 2013. His new film follows a man on a mission to track down the people responsible for his mother’s disappearance. “Just the Two of Us” is Donzelli’s sixth film and stars Virginie Efira as a woman who thinks she has found the man of her dreams (Melvil Poupaud) but slowly finds herself in the grip of a possessive and dangerous partner. Alonso’s new film is an ambitious historical drama set across four distinct sections, which examine the indigenous peoples of the Americas and how they’ve inhabited their specific environments across the centuries. The film was shot in Almería, Spain, and stars Viggo Mortensen.

Viggo Mortensen in Lisandro Alonso’s “Eureka”

There will be an Out of Competition screening for Frédéric Tellier’s “L’Abbé Pierre – Une Vie de Combats”. The biopic stars Benjamin Lavernhe as the French Catholic priest and French Resistance member Abbé Pierre, who went on to found the charitable Emmaus movement for the poor and homeless.

Two more titles have been added to Un Certain Regard: Chinese director Wei Shujun’s “Only the River Flows” and French director Alex Lutz’s “Une Nuit”. The latter film will screen Out of Competition as the closing film of the section.

There will be Special Screenings for French-Moroccan filmmaker Mona Achache’s “Little Girl Blue”, Afghan director Sahra Mani’s “Bread and Roses” and French-Swedish director Anna Novion’s “La Théorème de Marguerite”. “Little Girl Blue” is a docudrama starring Marion Cotillard as director Achache’s mother. Mani’s documentary “Bread and Roses” follows the experiences of three Afghan women as they deal with life under Taliban rule, after it took control of Kabul in the summer of 2021 and immediately deprived women of all basic freedoms. The work is produced by Jennifer Lawrence and Justine Ciarrocchi under the banner of their company Excellent Cadaver. “Le Théorème de Marguerite” stars Ella Rumpf as a brilliant maths student whose certitudes are shaken when she discovers an error in her end-of-studies thesis.

Ben Affleck in "Hypnotic"

The Midnight Screening lineup features Robert Rodriguez’s “Hypnotic” and Kim Tae-gon’s “Project Silence”. Speculation about plans for Rodriguez’s sci-action thriller “Hypnotic” starring Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, J.D. Pardo, Hala Finley and Dayo Okeniyi has been rife so it is interesting to see the film turn up in the Official Selection at Cannes. The Korean horror revolves around the unleashing of a beast following an accident on a foggy bridge.

The new titles also include the short film “Filles du Feu” by Portuguese filmmaker, Pedro Costa.

These films join 52 previously announced titles, giving the judges quite a lot to watch during the festival!

Remaining elements of the 76th edition of the festival are still being announced including who will join this year’s jury president Ruben Östlund, Cannes Classics, and details of a promised tribute to late iconic director Jean-Luc Godard who died last September.

The 76th Festival de Cannes runs May 16-27.





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