Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Unveils 2023 Line-Up: Michel Gondry, Hong Sangsoo, ‘Good Time’ DoP Sean Price Williams Make Cut – Full List & Film Details

Cannes Directors’ Fortnight has announced the selection for its 55th edition, running May 17 to 26.

The once renegade Cannes parallel section – launched in 1969 and overseen ever since by the French Directors Guild (Société des Réalisateurs de Films) – will present 20 features and 10 shorts this year. Scroll down for the full list.

The selection is the inaugural line-up of incoming Delegate General Julien Rejl, who was announced as predecessor Paolo Moretti’s replacement last July.

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This edition also marks the section’s first outing under the new French name of Quinzaine des Cinéastes. The name change from Quinzaine des Réalisateurs was announced back in July as a move to make its French-language banner title more gender-inclusive.

Rejl and his new selection team have pulled together an eclectic line-up mixing confirmed directors, buzzed-about newcomers and a handful of off-the-radar titles.

French actor and director Cédric Kahn’s The Goldman Case opens the selection. The drama revolves around the 1976 trial of Pierre Goldman, a real-life, left-wing revolutionary who was convicted of several armed robberies and then mysteriously murdered.

Korean director Hong Sangsoo will close the section with In Our Day. Little has been announced about the project until now which stars Kim Minhee as a woman in her early 40s, who is temporarily living at the home of a friend, who is raising a cat, and Ki Joobong as a man in his 70s living alone, whose cat has died of old age.

According to the enigmatic synopsis, both characters receive a visitor, a woman in her 20s for the woman, and a man in his 30s for the old man, and eat ramyun noodles with hot pepper paste as they talk.

Hong has previously premiered most of his films in the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection and was in Berlin’s Encounters section this year with In Water.

Other big hitters in the line-up include Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry with The Book of Solutions. The French-language comedy-drama – starring Pierre Niney as dealing with a creative block is the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director’s feature in seven years.

Gondry previously screened in Directors’ Fortnight in 2012, with The We And The I, having made his Cannes debut in Official Selection in 2001 with Human Nature.

The selection also includes a trio of films by U.S. indie directors: Sean Price Williams’s The Sweet East, Joanna Arnow’s The Feeling That The Time For Doing Something Has Passed and Weston Razooli’s Riddle Of Fire.

The Sweet East is the debut feature of cinematographer Sean Price Williams, whose many Director of Photography credits include the Safdie Brothers’ Good Time and Heaven Knows What as well as Abel Ferrara’s Zeros And Ones.

The road movie, written by Nick Pinkerton, is described as a picaresque journey through contemporary America by a young woman who is granted access to the strange sects and cults proliferating in the country.

Brooklyn-based actress and filmmaker Arnow’s The Feeling That The Time For Doing Something Has Passed follows the life of a woman as her life slips away in a long-term casual BDSM relationship and a low-level corporate job. 

Executive produced by Sean Baker, the film was supported by Berlinale Script Station, Gotham Week 2021 and When East Meets West at the project stage. Arnow won Berlinale Silver Bear in 2015 for her short film Bad at Dancing.

Riddle Of Fire is Los Angeles-based filmmaker Razooli’s debut feature after shorts Anaxia and Jolly Boy Friday.

There is a strong Asian presence with films from China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam making the cut.

From China, Geng Zihan’s debut film A Song Sung Blue is a coming-of-age tale about a teenager who is set to live with her chaotic father for the summer after her mother goes to Africa on a medical posting.

Indian director Kanu Behl, whose 2014 film Butterfly (Titli) played in Un Certain Regard, will present his new film Agra, exploring the sexual dynamics within a multi-generational family living together in the same cramped home.

Vietnamese director Pham Thien An’s debut feature Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell follows a careless man who returns to his rural home and reluctantly starts his search for his long-lost brother and makes a discovery that questions his faith.

The selection also features the Pakistani Urdu-language horror film In Flames by Zarrar Kahn, for which XYZ Films is handling North American sales rights.

The Karachi-set film follows a mother and daughter, living a precarious existence following the death of the family patriarch, who fall prey to evil forces.

Other highlights include cult French experimental director Bertrand Mandico’s new work She Is Connan, inspired by Robert E. Howard’s 1930s character, but played by actresses at different stages of the character’s life.

There will also be a Special Screening for late Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira’s 1993 Abraham’s Valley, to fete the 30th anniversary of its screening in Directors’ Fortnight.

The Madame Bovary-inspired drama starred Leonor Silveira as a young woman, dissatisfied with her marriage to an older doctor and takes several lovers. This year’s Directors’ Fortnight poster pays tribute to the work.

As previously announced, Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé will receive the section Carrosse d’Or honorary award.

Directors’ Fortnight 2023 Feature Selection

Abraham’s Valley (Val Abraão)
Dir. Manoel de Oliveira – SPECIAL SCREENING

The Goldman Case (Le Procès Goldman) OPENING FILM
Dir. Cédric Kahn

Agra (India)
Dir. Kanu Behl

The Other Laurens (Fr) Claude Schmitz

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell * (Viet-Sing-Fr)
Dir. Thien An Pham

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry (Switz-Ger-Geo)Dir. Elene Naveriani

Grace * (Blazh)
Dir. Ilya Povolotsky

She is Conann (Bel-Fr-Lux)
Dir. Bertrand Mandico

Creatura (Sp)Dir. Elena Martín Gimeno

Déserts (Mor-Fr-Ger-Bel)
Dir. Faouzi Bensaïdi

In Flames * (Can-Pak)
Dir. Zarrar Kahn

Légua (Port-Fr-It)
Dir. Filipa Reis & João Miller Guerra

The Book of Solutions (Fr)
Dir. Michel Gondry

Mambar Pierrette
Dir. Rosine Mbakam

Riddle Of Fire * (US)
Dir. Weston Razooli

The Feeling That The Time For Doing Something Has Passed * (US)
Dir. Joanna Arnow

The Sweet East (US)
Dir. Sean Price Williams

A Prince (Fr)
Dir. Pierre Creton

A Song Sung Blue * (China)
Dir. Zihan Geng

In Our Day (S Kor)
Dir. Hong Sangsoo CLOSING FILM

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