Cannes: Joanna Hogg and Clio Barnard to premiere new films in Directors’ Fortnight

The Cannes film festival has completed its lineup with the announcement of the selections for the Directors’ Fortnight, the separate strand that runs alongside the official festival and the Critics’ Week.

Highlights of the Directors’ Fortnight include new films from British directors Joanna Hogg and Clio Barnard, an Italian documentary which includes Happy as Lazzaro’s Alice Rohrwacher among its three directors, and a new musical co-directed by musician-actor Saul Williams and Rwandan film-maker Anisia Uzeyman.

Hogg will be premiering The Souvenir Part II, the follow-up to her loosely autobiographical 2019 drama The Souvenir, which like the first film will feature Honor Swinton Byrne in the lead role. Barnard, whose last film was the 2017 drama Dark River, and who is currently working on the Apple TV mini-series The Essex Serpent, is due to bring Ali & Ava to Cannes; starring Adeel Akhtar and Claire Rushbrook, it is described as “a contemporary British love story that explores the intricacies of age, class and race”.

Meanwhile Rohwacher, who won the best screenplay award at the 2018 Cannes film festival for Happy as Lazzaro, joins Pietro Marcello and Francesco Munzi for a documentary, Futura, billed as an examination of “the different expectations and prospects for the future” of Italian teenagers. Williams and Uzeyman have joined forces on Neptune’s Frost, which Williams described as “the love story between an inter-sex runaway, a coltan miner and the virtual marvel born as a result of their union”.

Hogg and Barnard’s participation will provide some comfort for the British film industry, after no UK directors were selected for the official competition or the Critics’ Week lineup, the only British director already involved being Andrea Arnold, whose documentary Cow is showing in a new sidebar called Cannes Premieres.

However, the Directors’ Fortnight selection has shown up the official selection’s continuing reluctance to select female film-makers. Twelve out of the Directors’ Fortnight’s 30 directors are women, while only four of out of the 24 directors competing for the Palme d’Or are female.

The festival also recently announced it will screen the new Fast and Furious film, F9, in its French premiere, though it will have opened across most of the world by the end of June.

The Cannes film festival is due to run from 6-17 July, after being delayed from its traditional mid-May calendar slot.


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