A Canadian guide to the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

After cancellations in 2020 and large scale-backs in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Cannes Film Festival has rolled out the red carpet this week for an in-person festival.

David Cronenberg returns with drama/horror Crimes of the Future

Director David Cronenberg, seen here at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, returns this month to the Cannes Film Festival with this highly anticipated horror/drama Crimes of the Future. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/The Associated Press)

After cancellations in 2020 and large scale-backs in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Cannes Film Festival has rolled out the red carpet this week for an in-person festival.

Mixed into the long-awaited lineup is myriad Canadian content being presented from May 17 to 28 at both the Cannes festival and the Marché du Film, the industry event and market held at the same time.

From futurist dramas to interactive animations, here's a glimpse at Canadian films to look out for this year at both. 

Cronenberg returns 

After an eight-year hiatus, David Cronenberg (Maps to the StarsEastern Promises) is making his return to Cannes with Crimes of the Future. 

The trailer, which dropped in April, further stirred interest in the already highly anticipated film, which is in competition for the Palme d'Or, the festival's top prize. 

The dystopian drama/horror follows humanity as it adapts to a synthetic environment where people push beyond their body's natural state. It has the same title as a film made by Cronenberg in 1970 but is not a remake. 

WATCH | Crimes of the Future trailer: 

This will be the Toronto-born director's sixth film in competition at Cannes. It features a star-studded cast including repeat Cronenberg collaborator Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) along with Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart and Scott Speedman. 

Robert Lantos (Barney's Version, Being Julia) produced it through his Serendipity Point Films and Argonauts Productions S.A., in association with Telefilm Canada, Ingenious Media and Davis Films. It marks the fourth collaboration between Cronenberg and Lantos. The festival screening will be the film's world premiere before its theatrical release on June 3. 

Virgo brings Brother

For the first time, Canada's Black Screen Office (BSO) and Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) will be at Cannes. Both work to support people from their respective communities in the screen industries.  

Six filmmakers will attend with the BSO including producer Tamar Bird (Black Bodies) and seven filmmakers will attend with the ISO, including director, writer and producer Nyla Innuksuk (Slash/Back).

Filmmaker and BSO founder Damon D'Oliveira will also be at the Marché du Film, which this year will present 34 Canadian films, including Clement Virgo's Brother.

From left, Damon D'Oliveira and Clement Virgo attend the Critics' Choice Television Awards in May 2015. D'Oliveira, a founder of the Black Screen Office, is co-producer of Virgo's feature drama Brother. (Getty Images)

Brother follows the journey of two boys into manhood amid the 1990s hip-hop scene in Toronto. Virgo (Poor Boy's Game, Lie With Me) wrote, directed and co-produced alongside D'Oliveira, Aeschylus Poulos and Sonya Di Rienzo. 

Among documentaries, Michael Toledano, Jennifer Wickham and Brenda Michell are bringing Yintah, which follows the story of Wet'suwet'en women and their families combating fossil fuel corporations.

Also, director Ziad Touma's The Passengers explores an emerging film genre — virtual reality blended with animation. Viewers influence the story through their eyes, voice and gestures as they are immersed in the mind of a train passenger. The film has received several nominations and awards including the win for best immersive experience in fiction at the 2021 Canadian Screens Awards. 

Elsewhere, French-Canadian artist and actor Charlotte Le Bon has already made her directorial feature debut with Falcon Lake — said to be a hybrid love and ghost story — which premiered Wednesday in the festival's non-competitive Directors' Fortnight.

Telefilm Canada's short-film showcase, Not Short on Talent, also returns this year, running alongside Cannes.

This year's showcase will feature Underpaint. Written and produced by Anna Hopkins for Same Page Productions and GTE Productions, the short pays tribute to her father, the late painter Tom Hopkins.

Crew members install the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals ahead of the opening day of the 75th Cannes film festival on Tuesday. (Daniel Cole/The Associated Press)


Griffin Jaeger is a reporter for CBC News and a 2022 Joan Donaldson Scholar. You can reach him at griffin.jaeger@cbc.ca