With the 76th Cannes Film Festival coming to us on 16 May 2023, running until 27 May, it is good indeed to see this stalwart of the festival circuit up and running- and in-person, too. What do we know about the festival so far? Entertainment lawyer Brandon Blake, industry expert from Blake & Wang P.A, covers all the information we have to date.

The Official Selection Lineup

This year 19 films will be in official competition at the festival. And the lineup is studded with familiar faces, too. Wim Wenders, a previous Palme d’Or winner, will see Perfect Days in the official lineup, as well as Anselm in the Special Screenings. Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, complete with a rather impressive ensemble cast, Todd Haynes’ May December, Aki Kaurismaki’s Fallen Leaves, and Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest have all been confirmed for the competition lineup, too.

Zone of Interest will be Glazer’s long-anticipated return to filmmaking after a long hiatus. The Old Oak (Ken Loach) and Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera also have a Competition berth. Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast, despite a lot of speculation, seems to have been skipped. Nanni Moretti’s Il Sol Dell’Avvenire, Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero, and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Monster also made the announced lineup.

Interestingly, there is a record number of female directors (six, if you’re keeping count) in this year’s competition lineup. In addition to those we’ve mentioned, there is Anatomie d’une chute (Justine Triet), Last Summer (Catherine Breillat), Olfa’s Daughters (Kaouther Ben Hania), and Banel et Adama (Ramata-Toulaye Sy). This film is also in contention for the Camera d’Or. This builds on last year’s record of 5. Ironically, there are also 6 new faces in the competition lineup for this year alongside the usual suspects.

For now, the competition lineup sits at 19 films, although this is expected to grow over the next few weeks- Cannes lineups are rarely delivered in one go.

Other Films of Interest

Of course, the competition lineup is far from the only buzz generated at Cannes. This year we will see Steve McQueen’s Occupied City grab itself a special screening. Meanwhile, Kubi, from Takeshi Kitano, is confirmed for a Cannes Premiere, and Anurag Kashyap takes a Midnight Screening with Kennedy. In the Out of Competition strand, we know that Sam Levison’s The Idol, bankrolled by HBO, is a definite. We will also see the world premiere for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

While Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon was anticipated as a competition title, we will instead see it perform Out-of-Competition alongside Maïwenn’s Jeanne du Barry, and Kim Jee-woon’s Cobweb to finish that roster. Jeanne du Barry will also be the opening film.

Spain will also take the center stage this year as the country of honor. Backed by a $1.7B governmental drive to be taken seriously as a player on the European film scene, this is hardly surprising. They have also had a great run on the awards circuit over the last year and a half, which should help to boost their profile significantly as well. Expect to see a lot of Spanish content in the Marché du Film.

Cannes remains the stalwart of the international awards scene, and it’s always exciting to see what new faces and old friends will return. This year is looking like a great one so far!