Cannes Film Festival: Canadian Denis Villeneuve's Sicario in competition

Quebec's Denis Villeneuve is the only Canadian director with a film competing for the coveted Palme d'Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which announced its lineup Thursday.

Villeneuve's drug trafficking drama stars Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt

A chat with Denis Villeneuve

7 years ago
Duration 5:20
Canadian director's film Sicario in Cannes competition, starring Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt

Acclaimed Quebec director Denis Villeneuve will compete at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival next month with his star-studded English-language project Sicario.

The drug-trafficking drama stars Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt as members of a government task force trying to take down the brutal head of a Mexican drug cartel.

The Canadian Oscar-nominated filmmaker will vie for the Palme d'Or against 16 other films, including Todd Haynes's Carol, Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, and Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux announced all 17 films in the running at the prestigious French festival on Thursday.

The full list includes:

  • The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Carol, Todd Haynes
  • Erran, Jaques Audiard
  • The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Our Little Sister, Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Umimachi Diary 
  • Louder Than Bombs, Joachim Trier 
  • Macbeth, Justin Kurzel
  • ​Marguerite and Julien, Valerie Donzelli
  • Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhang-Ke, Shan He Gu Ren
  • Mon roi, Maïwenn 
  • My Mother, Nanni Moretti
  • The Sea of Trees, Gus Van Sant 
  • Sicario, Denis Villeneuve 
  • A Simple Man, Stephane Brize
  • Son of Saul, Laszlo Nemes
  • The Tale of Tales, Matteo Garrone​
  • Youth, Paolo Sorrentino
Actors Emily Blunt, left, and Benicio del Toro star in Denis Villeneuve's narco-drama Sicario which is competing for the Palme d'or at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Villeneuve is the only Canadian director on the list. Last year, fellow Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan competed for the coveted Palme d'Or with his film Mommy.

Films screening out-of-competition at the festival include George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, Woody Allen's Irrational Man and Asif Kapadia's documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse.

Red carpet selfies not welcome

Hundreds of film stars and camera crews flock to the French Riviera city each spring for the glitzy festival, but there won't be any selfies on the red carpet if festival organizers have their way.

Fremaux expresed his disgust for the self-styled snapshots, calling them "ridiculous and grotesque."

"We're not going to ban selfies. We don't have police powers," Fremaux said. But he strongly urged festivalgoers to keep the red carpet a selfie-free zone.

Cannes organizers have faced criticism for not selecting more films by female directors. For the first time in more than 25 years, this year's festival will be opened by a film by a woman, French director Emmanuelle Bercot's drama La Tete Haute.

Villeneuve film headed to Cannes

7 years ago
Duration 5:23
Quebec director Denis Villeneuve's film Sicario has been selected for prestigious film festival next month
Two more female filmmakers are in competition: Valerie Donzelli with Marguerite and Julien and Maiwenn with Mon Roi. Both directors are French.

The festival runs May 13-24. Winners will be chosen by a jury led by Joel and Ethan Coen.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press


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