The 76th Cannes Film Festival will take place May 16–27, 2023. As in previous years, filmmakers from around the world will converge on the French Riviera in the south of France for one of the world’s greatest celebrations of cinematic arts.
Some attendees will compete for accolades from the competition juries; some will screen their films out of competition; and others will simply enjoy the festivities, taking in amazing films along the way.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s festival.
The Guest of Honor
At the opening ceremony on May 16, Michael Douglas will receive an honorary Palme d’Or. The Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) is the festival’s top prize, awarded to directors in various categories. The honorary Palme d’Or recognizes someone, not necessarily a director, for invaluable contributions to cinema. Previous winners include Jodie Foster.
The festival organizers are honoring Douglas for his career of 40+ years. He has attended the festival for many screenings of films in which he was an actor, from The China Syndrome in 1979 to Behind the Candelabra in 2013.
The Competition Juries
Four juries award prizes in five categories during the Cannes Film Festival.
The Short Films and La Cinef Jury chooses one short film and three student films to honor. This year, the Short Films and La Cinef Jury will be led by Ildikó Enyedi. An accomplished Hungarian filmmaker, Enyedi first attended the Cannes festival in 1989, when her film My Twentieth Century won top prize in the Camera d’Or.
Joining Enyedi on the Short Films and La Cinef Jury are Ana Lily Amirpour, Shlomi Elkabetz, Charlotte Le Bon, and Karidja Touré.
The Camera d’Or Jury recognizes the best feature film by a first-time director. This year, the Camera d’Or Jury will be led by Anaïs Demoustier. The French actress is perhaps best known for her Étoile d’Or award-winning performance in The Snows of Kilimanjaro.
Joining Demoustier on the Camera d’Or Jury are Mikael Buch, Nathalie Durand, Sophie Frilley, Nicolas Marcadé, and Raphaël Personnaz.
The Un Certain Regard Jury selects a winner among “art films by young auteurs.” This year, the Un Certain Regard Jury will be led by John C. Reilly. The American actor has appeared in several films honored previously at Cannes, including We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Lobster.
Joining Reilly on the Un Certain Regard Jury are Paula Beer, Davy Chou, Émilie Dequenne, and Alice Winocour. Mohammad Rasoulof was invited to serve, but Iranian authorities wouldn’t let him leave the country.
The Feature Film Jury gives a Palme d’Or to its favorite feature film. This year, the Feature Film Jury will be led by Ruben Östlund. He has twice won the Palme d’Or for feature films: in 2017, for The Square; and in 2021, for Triangle of Sadness.
Joining Östlund on the Feature Film Jury are Paul Dano, Julia Ducournau, Brie Larson, Denis Ménochet, Rungano Nyoni, Atiq Rahimi, Damián Szifron, and Maryam Touzani.
Over 60 films have been selected for screening during this year’s festival. Not all of them are competing for prizes, but they certainly aren’t to be missed! They include James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.
Out of 4,288 short films submitted for consideration, the festival organizers selected 11 (less than 0.3%) to screen in competition. There is one filmmaker from Ukraine on the list, reminding us once again of the amazing Ukrainian artists working in the besieged country or around the world.
Out of 2,000 student films submitted for consideration, the festival organizers selected 16 (0.8%) to screen for the La Cinef competition. For the first time, a film from a Moroccan school made the cut. Titles range from classic (Electra) to Shakespearean (Imogene) to provocative (Killing Boris Johnson).
The main festival lineup includes 10 films by new directors. Regardless of where they appear on the program, they will compete for the Camera d’Or. So will films selected for Quinzaine des Cinéastes and Semaine de la Critique.
A total of 19 art films will compete for Un Certain Regard. Almost half of them – eight, to be precise – are debuts. The section will close with a twentieth film, screened out of competition: Une Nuit by multi-hyphenate Alex Lutz.
Finally, 21 films will compete for the Palme d’Or in the Feature Films category. They include Asteroid City by Wes Anderson.
The Feature Films section will begin and end with films screened out of competition. The opening film is Maïwenn’s period drama Jeanne du Barry, which recounts the life of a poor French woman who became a mistress of King Louis X. The closing film is Peter Sohn’s animated feature Elemental, which tells a story of unlikely love between two beings, one made of water and one of fire.
Remember – Enjoy the Festival!
That’s everything you need to know to enjoy the festival!
We can’t wait to find out who the winners are, but we’re most excited about the variety of excellent films that will be screened on the way to the closing ceremony.