All this week, Indiewire will be rolling out our annual Cannes Film Festival Preview, including just about everything you need to know about the festival’s offerings, from the talent behind their creation, to why it’s at Cannes and what we can expect from the final product. Consider these your Cannes cheat sheets, packed with the kind of information and insight you can’t get anywhere else. Check back every day this week to learn more about the films that are poised to make this year’s festival one to remember.
“After the Storm“
When Can I See It? The film is set to open in Japan shortly after its Cannes premiere, but has yet to find U.S. distribution. -Eric Kohn
Who Made It? Egyptian director Mohamed Diab, who is known for taking on socially and politically controversial topics, like his sex harassment feature “678.”
Why It Might Be Great: The thriller is set inside a police truck that is full of pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators during protests of July 3, 2013 in Cairo, which rallied for the removal of President Mohamed Morsi. It will be competing for the Un Certain Regard Award by opening for the section.
What’s It Doing at Cannes? The timely piece of Islamic extremism is backed by French sales company Pyramide International and production company Arte France Cinema, making it one of the few Egyptian-French collaborations in film. In addition, it is time for Mohamed Diab to receive more international recognition after his great directorial debut with “678.”
When Can I See It? It is has not been picked up for U.S. distribution yet, but “Clash” already has a lot of hype surrounding it. Since Diab is a relatively new director, his last film did not receive U.S. distribution, but it is very likely that “Clash” will. -Kristen Santer
Who Made It? Boo Junfeng, whose first movie “Sandcastle” appeared at Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2010.
Why It Might Be Great: Junfeng is one of Asia’s fastest rising directorial talents. The morbid prison drama explores the relationship between the prison’s chief and a young correctional officer. The dynamic between the two should be intriguing due to the casting of veteran Malaysian actor Wan Hanafi Su opposite rookie Fir Rahman. The film is also gathering financial support from countries over the world.
What’s It Doing at Cannes? Junfeng’s debut feature “Sandcastle” was the first Singaporean film to be invited to the International Critics’ Week at Cannes. Given that “Apprentice” is his follow up, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to see his name again.
When Can I See It? If you live outside of the U.S., you are in luck, because Luxbox just picked up the film for international distribution. In addition, it has been acquired for French release by Version Originale Condor and for distribution in Hong Kong by Bravos Pictures. No U.S. distribution has been confirmed. -Bryn Gelbart
Who Made It? “The Transfiguration” is the feature debut from first-time filmmaker Michael O’Shea.
Why It Might Be Great: The film is running with a cool idea, a vampire romance reminiscent of 2008’s “Let the Right One In,” but at Cannes that rarely gets you far. Luckily “The Transfiguration” boasts an impressive crew. Susan Leber, whose “Down to the Bone” won at Sundance 2004, produced the film and it was shot by Sung Rae Cho, who also shot the acclaimed Indie thriller “Graceland.”
What’s It Doing at Cannes? The crew is built up of previous alumni from various festivals over the past decade. As to the talents of O’Shea, we can only wait in anticipation to see if he delivers on the rad concept of “The Transfiguration.”
When Can I See It? Likely, not too long after the festival. Protagonist Pictures is selling worldwide distribution rights to the film at the festival. -BG
“Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot”
Who Made It? Written and directed by Eran Kolirin, “Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot” is the Israeli filmmaker’s third feature film, having previously made critically acclaimed films like “The Band’s Visit,” which also screened at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, and “The Exchange,” which was screened at the Venice International Film Festival.
Why It Might Be Great: Kolirin has already come to prove that he is an highly talented and steadfast director who addresses social and political issues that plague his home region, with his film, “The Band’s Visit” being selected as Israel’s submission for Best Foreign Film for the Academy Awards. “Beyond the Mountains and Hills” (as the film is known in English) tells the story of an Israeli soldier who finds difficulties assimilating into civilian life after having spent the last 22 years of his life in the army.
What’s It Doing at Cannes? With Kolirin’s recent endeavors in prestigious award festivals, it’s no wonder that Cannes is eager to feature the upcoming filmmaker’s newest endeavor in this year’s lineup, where it will be screening at the Un Certain Regard section.
When Can I See It? The film has yet to be have a distributor, but seeing Kolirin’s success with his previous films, it surely won’t be long before “Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot” is picked up for distribution. –Riyad Mamedyarov
“Voir Du Pays”
Who Made It? The Coulin sisters have hit the ground running in their filmmaking endeavors. Translated as “The Stopover,” the Delphine and Muriel Coulin-directed film is their second feature, as well as their second time at the Cannes Film Festival. Their first feature film, “17 Girls,” did not only did they find a spot in Cannes, it was also nominated for the prestigious Best First Feature Film award at the Césars. And that trend of quality filmmaking is set to continue with their newest flick, “Voir Du Pays.”
Why It Might Be Great: Where their first film, “17 Girls” screened was nominated for the Golden Camera award at Cannes, their new film “Voir Du Pays” is poised to compete in the Un Certain Regard section. The film tells the story of two young female French soldiers (famed French singer songwriter Soko and César favorite Arianne Labed), as they finish up their tireless Afghanistan tour. To celebrate, the duo is given a three-day rest in Cyprus to decompress, rest, and recuperate. But things come to head when the combatants realize it’s not easy to forget the horror and violence that was apart of their lives on a daily basis.
What’s It Doing at Cannes? Even with only two appearances thus far at the French Riviera-based film festival, the Coulin sisters have proven to be adept young filmmakers, with focus, passion,and a unique story to tell. “Voir Du Pays” was adapted from Delphine Coulin’s novel of the same name.
When Can I See It? With no set distributor, there is yet to be a release date, but with renowned French producer Denis Freyd (“L’Enfant,” “Two Days, One Night”) attached to the project, it’s easy to imagine that the film could emerge as a Cannes and César favorite. -RM
READ MORE: 2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup, Including New Films From Steven Spielberg, Jodie Foster and Many More