Cannes Wish List: 50 Movies We Hope Make the Cut Beyond ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

From Nuri Bilge Ceylan to Jonathan Glazer, here's your most detailed look yet at the potential cinematic gems around the corner.
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white) Norman Reedus and Diane Kruger attend the closing ceremony red carpet for the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 28, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
The scene at the 75th Cannes Film Festival
Getty Images

In May, the Cannes Film Festival injects a jolt of international cinema into year ahead, and expectations are even greater than usual this time around. In 2022, Cannes was the starting point for everything from future commercial hits “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Elvis” to arthouse successes like “Decision to Leave” and “EO.” With less pandemic-era stagnation on productions, there are more newly finished (or almost finished) Cannes hopefuls in the mix than anytime in recent memory.

Some of the bigger ones have been widely reported: We already know that Martin Scorsese’s sprawling Osage Nation crime drama “Killers of the Flower Moon” will bring the revered director back to the festival with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in tow, while “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is poised to premiere in an out-of-competition slot 15 years after the last entry did the same thing. There’s also a lot of anticipation for Pedro Almodovar’s 30-minute English-language Western “Strange Way of Life,” which stars Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke; it may very well wind up as the rare short film to open the festival.

Setting all of these aside, Cannes is facing a vast sea of cinematic possibilities for this year’s lineup, which may not be finalized until the very last second. While the festival plans to announce its program in mid-April, we did plenty of digging and found a lot of potential we hope makes the cut.

Here’s our annual wish list. Dig through it and you’ll find not only a lot of prospective Cannes hits but many reasons to get excited for the year of cinema that lies ahead.

Christian Blauvelt, Jude Dry, Kate Erbland, Ali Foreman, Marcus Jones, Ryan Lattanzio, Brian Welk, and Christian Zilko contributed to this article.

“About Dry Grasses”
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkish director Ceylan won the Palme d’Or almost a decade ago for “Winter Sleep,” and several of his films have played at Cannes over the years. His prolonged running times and glacial pace aren’t for everyone, but Ceylan blends visual poetry with complex, literary storytelling in a singular fashion. His latest comes five years after late competition entry “The Wild Pear Tree.” Now comes a seemingly provocative drama about a teacher in Anatolia (also the backdrop of his arty police procedural “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”) accused along with his colleague of harassment by some of their students. As always with Ceylan, expect a moody and introspective look at people trapped by their surroundings who navigate complex emotional terrain. —EK

“Amelia’s Children”
Director: Gabriel Abrantes
After the genre-bending, magically indescribable soccer fantasy “Diamantino” dazzled audiences in 2018, Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s next films were destined to be met with excitement. Abrantes is flying solo on his follow up project, but there’s every reason to believe that “Amelia’s Children” should be another wild ride through Portugal. The film, which stars Alba Baptista, Brigette Lundy-Paine, and Carloto Cotta, tells the story of a couple who journey into the mountains to meet the man’s long-lost mother and brother before learning a devastating secret about the family. The project appears to be considerably less comedic than “Diamantino,” but nobody should make assumptions about an Abrantes movie until the credits roll. —CZ

“Anatomy of a Fall”
Director: Justine Triet
As she readies her fourth feature, Justine Triet’s latest seems like a natural pick for this year’s Cannes: all of her features have shown at the festival and, in 2019, she leveled up to competition status with her prickly dramedy “Sibyl.” Her next film, “Anatomy of a Fall,” continues Triet’s interest in following characters thrust into situations in which they must battle forces much bigger than themselves. This time, Triet’s star will go up against both the French legal system and her own moral code, as the film follows lauded “Toni Erdmann” star Sandra Hüller as a woman accused of murder after her husband dies in a strange fall. The only person who might save her? Her blind son, who starts to doubt her innocence as the trial unfolds. —KE

“Asteroid City”
Director: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson
Wes AndersonAP

After setting his last few films in Europe and Asia, Wes Anderson is turning his attention stateside again for the upcoming “Asteroid City.” The film, which takes place at a Stargazers Convention in a fictional American town in 1955, looks like it could split the difference between the midcentury setting of “Moonrise Kingdom” and the desert Americana of “Bottle Rocket.” Anderson’s pedigree and his predictably excellent cast — which features Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Hong Chau, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, and Steve Carell — would make it one of the most anticipated premieres on the Croisette if it bows at Cannes. “Asteroid City” is the first of two Wes Anderson features to debut in 2023 — he also has the animated “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” set at Netflix for later this year. —CZ

Director: Baloji
Belgian rapper Baloji makes his directorial debut with this Congolese story about a young man deemed a sorcerer by his small community and forced into exile. When he returns with his wife, he’s forced to contend with relatives who view him as an outsider. African cinema doesn’t always receive a prominent platform at Cannes, despite the many industries it contains, but this movie stands a good shot at bringing a fresh directorial voice onto the world stage while confronting the clash of traditionalism and the new world at the center of so many African societies today. —EK

“The Beast”
Director: Bertrand Bonello
The Nice-born filmmaker has been a regular presence at the festival close to his hometown over the past decade, with sex worker drama “House of Tolerance,” fashion biopic “Saint Laurent,” and reverie on colonialism “Zombi Child” all premiering on the Croisette. His latest, a sci-fi adaptation of Henry James’ 1903 novella “The Beast in the Jungle,” stars Léa Seydoux and 1917’s George MacKay. Bonello’s apparently had Seydoux in mind for this role since she appeared in “Saint Laurent.” —CB

“The Bitter Tears of Zahra Zand”
Director: Vahid Hakimzadeh
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s lesbian folie à trois “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant” remains fertile ground for filmmakers to remake and reimagine. Take last year’s “Peter von Kant” from François Ozon, a gay male take on the 1972 film that also doubled as a slice-of-biopic about director Fassbinder himself. Now, British-Iranian filmmaker Vahid Hakimzadeh puts his own spin on the German director’s masterpiece with “The Bitter Tears of Zahra Zand,” a Farsi-language retelling set around a high society fashion designer who has fled Iran for London on the brink of the 1979 Islamic revolution. While her country falls apart, she descends into mind games and manipulation over the elderly housekeeper (Pari Armian) who raised her — and the new muse who disrupts her world (Melina Farahani). Hakimzadeh’s last feature was “Greater Things,” which played festivals worldwide. —RL

“The Book of Solutions”
Director: Michel Gondry
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” director Michel Gondry could be returning to Cannes with his first feature since 2015’s “Microbe & Gasoline.” Plot details have largely been kept under wraps, but the film stars Pierre Niney and Françoise Lebrun and reportedly focuses on a director trying to battle demons that are hampering his creativity. Gondry is directing a script he wrote himself — and introspective material seems like it fits firmly within his wheelhouse. If everything goes right, the project could be another wild journey through the human mind a la “Eternal Sunshine.” —CZ

“Close Your Eyes”
Director: Victor Erice
Víctor Erice’s stunningly imagined and poetically minded 1973 drama about children’s trauma, titled “The Spirit of the Beehive,” is widely regarded among the greatest Spanish films ever made. It’s a quintessential gothic fairytale, paving the way for Guillermo del Toro’s later “Pan’s Labyrinth” and similarly caught between daydream, nightmare, and memory. Set in a remote Castilian village in the wake of the Spanish Civil War, “The Spirit of the Beehive” follows two young girls’ imaginative pursuit of Frankenstein. Cinematographer Luis Cuadrado, who was going blind at the time of the production, used special lighting and a magnifying glass to examine his footage and craft the result: unshakable and magical imagery which fosters inexplicable fantasy in a war-torn place of fear. Erice’s forthcoming “Close Your Eyes” — or “Cerrar los Ojos” — marks the filmmaker’s return to feature directing, more than 30 years since 1992’s “The Quince Tree Sun.” —AF

“La Cocina”
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios
Based on Arnold Wesker’s play, sort of a “Grand Hotel”-type ensemble story about a New York City restaurant, Alonso Ruizpalacios’ film actually shot most of its interiors in Mexico City before heading to the Big Apple. It’ll be the first film featuring Rooney Mara since this past Oscar season’s Best Picture nominee, “Women Talking.” —CB

“The Conversion”
Director: Marco Bellochio
Italian auteur Bellochio has had seven films compete for the Palme d’Or — and Cannes loves to bring back returning filmmakers — so his upcoming “The Conversion” feels like an inevitable addition to the festival’s lineup. The legendary director’s next project is based on the true story of Edgardo Mortora, the six-year-old Jewish boy who was kidnapped by the Catholic Church and forcibly converted to Catholicism under the watchful eye of the Vatican during the 1850s. Filmmakers have been eyeing the story for years, with Steven Spielberg coming close to directing his own version of the material with Oscar Isaac just a few years ago. The film could be the latest entry in Bellochio’s career-spanning quest to reckon with his own Catholic upbringing through his movies. —CZ

“Curiosity Room”
Director: Lubna Playoust
With the film industry undergoing a major transition, there’s no better time to remake Wim Wenders’ beloved 1982 documentary “Room 666.” “The French Dispatch” actress and filmmaker shot the documentary at Cannes last year, where she interviewed filmmakers about the art of cinema and its nebulous future. Participating filmmakers include Audrey Diwan, Joachim Trier, Claire Denis, and David Cronenberg. With Rosalie Varda serving as producer, the French cinephile pedigree of the inward-looking project should secure it a spot at Cannes. —JD

Director: Quentin Dupieux
French director and accomplished absurdist Quentin Dupieux returns with his twelfth feature “DAAAAAALI!”: a mockumentary about the famed surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. Starring Alain Chabat, Anaïs Demoustier, Pierre Niney, Gilles Lellouche, and more, the memorably named project chronicles a series of so-called “interviews” between a journalist and the Spanish painter. —AF

“Dead Leaves”
Director: Aki Kaurismaki
Nobody does deadpan like Kaurismaki, not even Jim Jarmusch, as the Finnish director excels at blending melancholic slapstick with real-world concerns. It’s been seven years since his acclaimed “The Other Side of Hope,” but Kaurismaki likes to take his time, as “Hope” followed the great 2011 port dramedy “Le Havre,” which came after 2006’s “Lights in the Dusk.” So the new one is here right on schedule. Kauismaki’s nineteenth movie promises another entry in his existing trilogy of working-class stories (“Shadows in Paradise,” “Ariel,” “The Match Factory Girl”). “Dead Leaves’ reportedly focuses on a shop assistant and sand blaster, though beyond that, little is known about the plot. “Tragicomedy appears to be my genre,” Kaurismaki said when the project is announced — and that’s enough to make it worthy of anticipation. —EK

“A Different Man”
Director: Aaron Schimberg
Schimberg’s 2018 meta horror effort “Chained for Life” was a sleeper hit on the festival circuit that starred Jess Weixler and “Under the Skin” discovery Adam Pearson in the haunting story of an actress who develops a unique connection with her ostracized co-star. Now, Schmiberg is back with an even wilder proposition certain to gain more attention due to the prominent role for Sebastian Stan and distributor A24. The “Captain America” co-star plays a man who receives facial reconstructive surgery and then develops a bond with the actor who portrays him onstage. Owen Kline, whose cringe comedy “Funny Pages” was one of the great discoveries of last year’s Director’s Fortnight, has a supporting role in a movie that could go a similar route and stir up conversations as one of the weirder and most unexpected American entries to make its way to the Croisette this year. —EK

Director: Lisandro Alonso
From “Liverpool” to the extraordinary Viggo Mortensen travelogue “Jauja,” Argentinean filmmaker Lisandro Alonso directs absorbing, fantastical stories of solitary men in strange, allegorical environments. “Eureka” promises to continue that trope while injecting it into a more accessible narrative, as it follows a man (Mortensen) hunting down the criminal who has kidnapped his daughter. But don’t expect Mortensen to take a page from Liam Neeson’s “Taken” handbook. The movie (shot, like Pedro Almodovar’s new short “Strange Way of Life,” in the same Spanish desert where “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” was made) reportedly explores multiple generations of indigenous people through the prism of its plot. Expect a profound, cryptic journey filled with visual splendor, big ideas, and the ever-satisfying face of one of the best actors working today. —EK

“El Estado de Imperio”
Director: Amat Escalante
Mexican director Escalante is known for making controversial movies about his country’s history of violence and crime, including the shocking 2013 Cannes entry “Heli,” which won a Best Director prize from Steve Spielberg’s jury. (He also worked on “Narcos: Mexico,” a natural fit.) Escalante’s latest focuses on the son of an activist protester who goes undercover as the servant to a wealthy family to uncover the mystery of mother’s disappearance. Escalante’s films are always unnerving depictions of class warfare and other timely subjects; expect this one to stir up conversations if it shows up at Cannes that reverberate all the way back in its home country. —EK

“The Empire”
Director: Bruno Dumont
One of the most respected and adventurous French directors working today, Bruno Dumont tackles from strange, eccentric stories that encompass everything from “Joan of Arc” to the sprawling “Li’l Quinquin,” a dark comic detective drama. With “The Empire,” he’s trying something altogether new: a space invasion that takes place in Northern France. The movie is expected to take a satiric approach to modern subjects such as cancel culture (which was a bit too much for actress Adele Haenel, who quit the project in a public manner last year). While it may not be for everyone, “The Empire” is well-positioned to bring Dumont’s edgy sensibility back to the festival that has embraced it many times before. —EK

“La Chimera”
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Hot off her Oscar nomination for short film “La Pupille,” former Cannes jury member and frequently programmed filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher looks poised to return to the Croisette. Neon picked up the rights to her latest feature, “La Chimera,” last year before it production kicked off in Italy and Switzerland. The film stars a nearly unrecognizable Josh O’Connor as a young British archaeologist who gets caught up with a group of tombaroli (tomb robbers) in ‘80s Italy.

The filmmaker told IndieWire earlier this year that she’s sticking with her Italian roots with her latest. “When I think of a story, I think of it set in Italy because I’m so passionate about the landscape, the history, the art, the culture,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I don’t have a traveler’s curiosity. Up until now, the stories I have seen and transformed into film were linked to this country.” —KE

“Club Zero”
Director: Jessica Hausner
Cannes regular Hausner seems like an obvious pick to return to Cannes — her previous feature, “Little Joe,” played in competition in 2019 and won star Emily Beecham the fest’s Best Actress award, and all of her previous films, save for Venice premiere “Lourdes,” have debuted on the Croissette. Her latest is filled with intrigue. The film, Hausner’s second English-language effort, stars Mia Wasikowska as a young teacher who takes a gig at a tony prep school, where she forms a strong — and eventually dangerous — bond with five of her students.

In March 2021, Hausner told Screen that the film is “a lot about eating — eating disorders and eating behavior.” Early reports suggest the film is focused on a cult, and given Hausner’s predilection for engrossing metaphors, it’s safe to expect an unsettling one about today’s consumerist society. —KE

“Funny Wars”
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
When Godard died via assisted suicide last fall at the age of 91, he was hard at work on a few new projects, and near to completion on this short, collage-like work poised to arrive at Cannes as a posthumous tribute to the legendary filmmaker. As with all of his late-period work, “Funny Wars” is expected to eschew any kind of traditional narrative for a freewheeling investigation into modern times, language, and creativity. While it only runs around 20 minutes, “Funny Wars” could end up as one of the most exciting Cannes premieres, given that its director is the most famous — and provocative! — directors in French history. With Godard, you always have to expect the unexpected, and that continues even when he’s gone. —EK

Director: Richard Linklater
It has been nearly two decades since prolific Texan filmmaker Linklater took one of his projects to the Cannes Film Festival, and interestingly enough, that film was “Fast Food Nation,” which features a young Glen Powell. Now, all grown up and coming off of the success of “Top Gun: Maverick,” the 34-year-old co-writes and stars in his fourth Linklater film, the story of an investigator that poses as a contract killer in order to catch the criminals looking for his services, but allows lines to blur when he falls for a woman that he’s helping escape an abusive boyfriend. —MJ

“How to Have Sex”
Director: Molly Manning Walker
After premiering her first short film at Cannes subsidiary La Semaine de La Critique, British cinematographer-turned-director Molly Manning Walker could emerge as one to watch at Cannes. Shot in Greece, her debut feature follows a group of teenagers who travel to Mallorca to lose their virginity, a rite of passage for British girls. Based on the strength of her short, “Good Thanks, You?”, Walker won the Next Step prize to develop the script for her feature, so Cannes programmers are certainly aware of the emerging talent. —JD

“Hunters on a White Field”
Director: Sarah Gyllenstierna
“Hunters on a White Field” is a suspense drama about three men on a hunting trip who become addicted to the euphoria of their sport — until overnight, all the animals disappear, the forest grows eerie, and the men become convinced that the hunt must continue. It’s the feature debut of Swedish filmmaker Sarah Gyllenstierna, formerly an assistant director on Spike Lee films including “Malcolm X” and “He Got Game.” Magnus Krepper (“Margarete – Queen of the North”), Ardalan Esmaili (“The Rain”), and Jens Hultén (“Skyfall”) round out the cast on the film, which shot in the woods outside Trollhättan in west Sweden. The film was first introduced on the Cannes market last year, and for a festival always in serious need of more female voices, the pipeline is there for “Hunters” to make its debut this May. —RL

“Les Indesirables”
Director: Ladj Ly

"Les Misérables" director Ladj Ly
“Les Misérables” director Ladj Ly

Ly broke out in a big way at Cannes in 2019 with “Les Miserables,” and the director’s follow-up “Les Indesirables” reunites the same producing and creative team as on his debut. The film is a two-hander that follows a fierce young woman and new mayor who cross paths on the outskirts of Paris in a suburb threatened by gentrification. Production started in December, so here’s hoping it’s ready for this May. —BW

“Io Capitano”
Director: Mateo Garrone
Italian director Garrone has been a Cannes regular for years with everything from “Dogman” to “Reality” and “Tale of Tales” cementing his reputation for bringing sophistication to fairy tale stories and digging into deeper facets of his country’s mythmaking in the process. “Io Capitano” expands his milieu to West Africa — a first for the director, who usually shoots in Italy — as it follows two young migrants fleeing their circumstances for a better life. Expect a riveting adventure with a lot on its mind, especially as Garrone embraces an original story again following his “Pinocchio” remake in 2020. —EK

“The Iron Claw”
Director: Sean Durkin
American indie filmmaker Sean Durkin is ready to return to Cannes. His short film “Mary Last Seen” won the Directors’ Fortnight in 2010 before inspiring the feature-length version “Martha Marcy May Marlene” that rocked Sundance and remains a cult hit more than a decade later. He then directed one of the best films of 2020, the elegantly sinuous class drama “The Nest,” but now gets his biggest stage yet with A24’s “The Iron Claw.” The biographical drama captures the ebb and fall of the Von Erich wrestling family, a dynasty of athletes whose lives dissipated into shocking tragedy in the 1980s. “The Iron Claw” is pretty much destined for virality given its going-against-type cast, as we’ve already seen first-look images of stars Zac Efron, Harris Dickinson, and Jeremy Allen White in skintight latex. Maura Tierney, Lily James, and Holt McCallany also round out the ensemble, with “Nest” and “Son of Saul” cinematographer Mátyás Erdély behind the camera. A24 will want to make some sort of splash on the Croisette after dominating the Oscars — after all, Ari Aster’s “Beau Is Afraid” opens a month before the festival kicks off. —RL

“I Saw the TV Glow”
Director: Jane Schoenbrun
Boasting the “coolest, wildest (and queerest) cast” ever assembled for an art house horror movie, with rock icons like Phoebe Bridgers, Snail Mail, and Fred Durst all appearing, we have a ton of reasons to be excited for Jane Schoenbrun’s follow-up to the creepypasta-inspired Sundance breakout “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair.” A24 has a lot of candidates for what could wind up at Cannes, but “I Saw the TV Glow” (which boasts Emma Stone among its producers) could skyrocket with a Cannes bow. —BW

“Jean du Barry”
Director: Maïwenn
What’s Cannes without a new feature by Maïwenn, the actress-turned-director whose films including “Polisse” and “Mon Roi” regularly play the festival (and often as one of the few women-directed films in the competition lineup)? “Jean du Barry” is a little bit tricky, the kind of movie that a major U.S. distributor may not touch but that Europeans embrace with open arms. That’s because it stars Johnny Depp in his first major film role post-Heard trial, here playing King Louis XV. The historical drama revolves around his romantic entanglement with Madame du Barry (played by Maïwenn herself), who skirmished with 18th-century French nobility. The movie — which has seen a few first looks trickle out in the form of Depp powdered in full regalia, makeup, and wig — also stars some French royalty of its own, including Louis Garrel, Noémie Lvovsky, Pascal Greggory, and Melvil Poupaud. Currently, Netflix plans to release the movie in France, but of course will not stream it until 15 months after theatrical, per France’s exhibition strictures. —RL

“L’Ete Dernier”
Director: Catherine Breillat
For revered French filmmaker Catherine Breillat’s first new film in ten years, she chose to remake the Danish erotic drama “Queen of Hearts,” written and directed by May el-Toukhy. The film follows a middle-aged woman embroiled in a forbidden affair with her teenage stepson. “Close” star Léa Drucker will play the lead, alongside theater actors Olivier Rabourdin and Clotilde Cournau. It’s no wonder the provocative source material inspired Breillat, a master of showing women’s sexuality in all of its messy complications. —JD

“Love Me”
Directors: Sam & Andy
In filmmakers Sam & Andy’s sci-fi “Love Me,” the operating system of a “smart buoy” falls in love with a satellite orbiting Earth. Little is known about this quirky long-in-the-works romance, but both the buoy and the satellite are 100% real, designed, built, and filmed on location and in studio. While the satellite and buoy at first can only speak through typography, they eventually grow alive by creating their own virtual forms that in turn become flesh and blood. It’s all heady and high-concept, but it’s anchored by the familiar comforts of Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun to give us some ballast amid the brainy ideas. —RL

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Japan’s Kore-eda is a Cannes fixture who won the Palme d’Or for “Shoplifters,” which went on to score an Oscar nomination, and he cracked the competition again last year with the Korea-set “Broker.” Now he’s back on his home turf with a drama that has its plot under wraps, though a new Kore-eda movie is enough to get anyone who knows his work excited enough. Here’s one added bonus: The movie marks his first collaboration with renowned composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (“The Revenant”). —EK

“The New Boy”
Director: Warwick Thornton
Ever since “Sampson and Delilah” won the Camera d’Or for best first feature at Cannes in 2009, Warwick Thortnon has been one of the most exciting new voices to emerge from Australian cinema and, on a global scale, among a new generation of indigenous filmmakers. His latest project will mark the first Cate Blanchett appearance since her “TÁR” tour, as the ubiquitous actress and produces this 1940s-set story of an aboriginal orphan (Aswan Reid) who shows up at a desolate monastery where Blanchett plays the head nun. Expect first-rate performances and another profound investigation into the scars of colonialism that continue to linger in the outback to this day. —EK

Director: Todd Haynes

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Julianne Moore attends the opening ceremony for the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 17, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Julianne Moore at CannesGetty Images

Though he won an award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 for his film “Velvet Goldmine,” director Todd Haynes did not become a regular on the Croisette until his 2015 film “Carol,” which won the Queer Palm, and went on to become an instant cult classic that earned six Oscar nominations. His new film starring Best Actress winners Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, plus “Riverdale” breakout Charles Melton, sounds of the same ilk. “May December” is said to be about a married couple that has a large age gap between them visited by an actress looking to research them for a film based on their infamous tabloid romance that’s lasted 20 years. —MJ

Director: Michel Franco
With two awards in the Un Certain Regard section, plus a Best Screenplay win at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival under his belt, Mexican filmmaker Franco has a new film with recent Oscar winner Jessica Chastain and recent Emmy nominee Peter Sarsgaard ready for another festival run. Little is known about the plot of the film, which will be Franco’s second English-language project after the 2015 movie “Chronic,” but it does also star Merritt Wever, Josh Charles, Elsie Fisher, and Jessica Harper, and may or may not be about New Yorkers looking for a staycation in the city. —MJ

Director: Cristi Puiu
The Romanian director has a tough act to follow from his last film, “Malmkrog,” a 200-minute series of conversations set in turn-of-the-last century Transylvania about whether violence is or isn’t necessary to organize society. A 160-minute dramatic comedy, “MMXX” follows four contemporary characters (and their neuroses). The official logline? “The wanderings of a bunch of errant souls stuck at the crossroads of history.” —CB

“Olfa’s Daughters”
Director: Kaother Ben Hania
You might remember Kaouther Ben Hania from “The Man Who Sold His Skin”: the director’s Best International Feature Film contender from 2021 and the first ever Tunisian film nominated in the category. Now, she’s back: not only heading up the Critics’ Week jury for Cannes but also promoting her docudrama “Olfa’s Daughters.” Starring Hend Sabrey, the film tells the story of a family torn apart by ISIS radicalization. —AF

“The Old Oak”
Director: Ken Loach
Legendary British director Loach has been making intimate working-class dramas for decades, and he’s in the rare class of directors to win the Palme d’Or twice, for 2006’s “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” and 2016’s “I, Daniel Blake” — which he made two years announcing his retirement. Now, the 86-year-old filmmaker is back with another timely sociopolitical story, this one focused on Syrian refugees in England. The title refers to neglected old pub where locals meet that becomes contested territory once a new influx of migrants arrive. The premise hints at vintage Loach, where interpersonal problems speak to the larger inequalities at play, and it hints at the sort of urgent, bleeding-heart filmmaking that has really delivered for Cannes audiences in recent years. —EK

Director: Levan Akin
Swedish director Akin’s acclaimed look at gay life in Georgia, “And Then We Danced,” was Sweden’s Oscar submission in 2019. Now he’s back with another look at Georgia’s LGBTQ community, this one involving Turkey as well. The story is said to involve characters who develop a familial bond after their biological families cast them out, and that’s enough information to anticipate a timely emotional journey from a director who has already proven he can excel at depicting exactly that. —EK

“The Perfumed Hill”
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
It’s incredibly been nine years since Abderrahmane Sissako won two prizes at Cannes for his film “Timbuktu,” eventually landing an Oscar nomination for his native Mauritania. His new film follows a character who leaves Africa and relocates to China in a region known as the “Chocolate City,” one of thousands of Africans who make this journey every year in real life. The film is a romantic drama that re-teams Sissako with his “Timbuktu” co-writer Kessen Tall. —BW

Director: Nelicia Low
A former fencer for Singapore’s national team, Columbia alum Low is using that experience – and more – to frame her feature directorial debut. “Pierce” follows a pair of brothers who reunite after the older of the two (Tsao Yu-Ning) is released from prison and his younger sibling, a rising star in the fencing world (Liu Hsiu-Fu) opts to support his brother, which goes against the wishes of their family, especially their mother. —KE

“Poor Things”
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Both a Un Certain Regard Award and Jury Prize winner at Cannes, Greek filmmaker Lanthimos returns with an adaptation of the 1992 Alasdair Gray novel that reteams him with “The Favourite” screenwriter Tony McNamara and actress Emma Stone. Described as a “Victorian tale of love, discovery and scientific daring,” the film about a young woman brought back to life by an eccentric scientist also stars Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, and comedians Jerrod Carmichael and Ramy Youssef. —MJ

“Pot Au Feu”
Director: Tranh Anh Hung
Juliette Binoche will star in another culinary-themed period film since her most widely recognized turn in “Chocolat” (2000). The seventh film from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tranh Anh Hung is set in the world of French gastronomy in 1885, and follows the relationship between a gourmet chef (Benoit Magimel) and his longtime cook (Binoche). The story is inspired by the life of French essayist Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who is credited with founding genre of gastronomic writing. With foodie culture receiving cinematic skewering of late, it’s only proper that a French filmmaker take up the mantle. —JD

“Red Island”
Director: Robin Campillo
Campillo had a strong showing at Cannes with his 2017 AIDS drama “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” and his next film could see him returning to the festival to explore another historical injustice. Campillo’s upcoming “Red Island” takes place in Madagascar in the early 1970s during the final days of France’s occupation of the island. The story is reportedly told through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy whose worldview changes as he is gradually exposed to the nature of colonialism. A politically conscious film from a Cannes veteran, “Red Island” is the kind of film that the festival programs year after year. —CZ

Director: Annerita Zambrano

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Director Annarita Zambrano attends the "Dopo La Guerra - Apres La Guerre" photocall during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)
Annarita ZambranoGetty Images

After winning at the Les Arcs Film Festival for works in progress, this dark comedy is a strong contender for a Cannes Critics’ Week showing. Ava Cohen, who heads up the program, served on the jury. Set in the 1980s, the film takes place at a luxury villa and rehab center for wealthy teenagers. An Italian filmmaker who has been working in France for 15 years, Zambrano makes her feature debut after showing shorts at Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. —JD

“The Royal Hotel”
Director: Kitty Green
When documentarian Kitty Green moved into the narrative space with her 2019 feature “The Assistant,” the filmmaker proved that her keen eye for telling wrenching stories about women could cross mediums with ease. For her next feature, Green is again teaming with her “Assistant” star Julia Garner, plus rising actress Jessica Henwick and the always-intriguing Hugo Weaving.

This time around, Green again mines a true story for big drama (the film is billed as a “social thriller”), and the film follows a pair of pals (Garner and Henwick) who, while on a trip to Australia, decide to earn some quick cash by working at the eponymous Royal Hotel. But when the women become enmeshed in the alcohol-addled local culture, things start to rapidly spiral out of control. Green is a master of building tension out of horrifying true stories, and “The Royal Hotel” sounds right up her alley. Neon picked up the film last April before it started shooting in Australia. —KE

“They Shot the Piano Player”
Directors: Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
Don’t let the title fool you: This is not an unwanted sequel to Francois Truffaut’s “Shoot the Piano Player.” Instead, Trueba and Mariscal’s animated odyssey recounts the story of revered Brazilian musician Francisco Tenório Jr., who was murdered at the age of 35 while touring Argentina in the midst of a military coup in 1976. The movie utilizes interviews with Tenório Jr.’s widow to revisit the early 1970s era of Latin American history that was defined by a flowering of cultural activity before the onslaught dictatorships shut it down. As “Flee” recently proved, animation can have a liberating effect on the documentary form, and indications are strong that “They Shot the Piano Player” will follow suit with an absorbing, colorful window into an era defined by creativity in every field. —EK

“The Sun of the Future”
Director: Nanni Moretti
Italian director Nanni Moretti has been a Cannes fixture for decades, “The Son’s Room” in 2001 and heading the jury ten years later. His latest comedy reportedly takes place in Rome between the 1950s and 1970s against the backdrop of the circus, with some aspect of cinema baked into the premise as well. Shot at Cinecittà Studios on soundstages, the movie promises a more ambitious scale than recent Moretti efforts, and might be just the thing to remind audiences why his seriocomic storytelling is still essential after all these years. —EK

“Tokyo Toilet”
Director: Wim Wenders
A fictional story centered around the beauty and architectural design of Japanese toilets is fascinating enough. That German auteur Wim Wenders sought to make a film about them is another thing entirely. Wenders announced his latest feature “Tokyo Toilet” back in 2022, touting the “Utopian” ideal of a public restroom where humanity is equal, and casting Koji Yakusho (“Babel”) in the lead. Wenders last played Cannes in 2018 with his Pope Francis documentary. —BW

“The Zone of Interest”
Director: Jonathan Glazer
We’ve known the “Sexy Beast” and “Birth” auteur has been working on this loose adaptation of Martin Amis’s novel of the same name since late 2019. An ambitious narrative set in Auschwitz, the novel tells the story of a Nazi officer who becomes entangled with the camp commandant’s wife. Just how literal that adaptation will be is yet to be seen, but fans of Glazer’s last film, “Under the Skin,” one of the most acclaimed films of the century to date would not expect a film based on any material less charged. —CB

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