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21 Directors Who Launched Their Filmmaking Careers at Cannes

Ahead of the one of the liveliest Cannes lineups in memory, look back on these filmmakers who got their start at the French festival.

Cannes Directors

Lynne Ramsay, Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion, Alejandro González Iñárritu

Everett Collection

This year’s Cannes Film Festival is crashing a wave of exciting new auteur cinema onto the banks of the French Riviera in less than a month. With filmmakers like Wes Anderson, Gaspar Noé, Sean Baker, Andrea Arnold, Paul Verhoeven, Asghar Farhadi, Ari Folman, Leos Carax, Mia Hansen-Løve, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jacques Audiard, Todd Haynes, Julia Ducournau, and even Sean Penn bringing films to France, this is one of the biggest lineups in Cannes memory. Moviegoers, industry brass, and tastemakers lucky enough to head over to France for the hallowed event will be up to their eyeballs in new movies (as promised, no virtual component this year for the in-person-only event). And filmmakers alike will be gratefully, and at last, premiering their new works on a big screen in front of a hungry festival audience.

This year’s festival will mark something of a homecoming for many filmmakers who’ve brought films to the festival to great success over the years. Let’s take a look back at 21 directors who launched their filmmaking careers at Cannes.

The 2021 Cannes Film Festival begins July 6 and runs through July 17.

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