The U.K. & Ireland Land 9 Films for the 77th Cannes Film Festival Lineup, 5 in Competition

Franz Rogowski as Bird in 'Bird'

Franz Rogowski as Bird in 'Bird'

Atsushi Nishijima, House Bird Limited, Ad Vitam Production, British Broadcasting Corporation, The British Film Institute, Pinky Promise Film Fund II Holdings LLC, FirstGen Content LLC and Bird Film LLC

Most of Hollywood doesn't really tune into Awards season until the end of the summer when the back-to-back film festivals start rolling out the big contenders in Venice and Toronto, followed by London and then American theatrical releases. But for the rest of the world, the chase for recognition starts in France in the springtime at the Cannes Film Festival. The second oldest film festival in Europe and one of the most respected competitions, the "Festival de Cannes" was founded in 1946 as a way to help the country bounce back from its war-torn bankruptcy. With the Berlin Film Festival's February dates currently occurring before the yearly Oscars, relegating it (along with Sundance) to a sort of "pre-party" for the coming year, Cannes is treated as the first preview for those hopefuls who are planning to make a run for gold come fall.

Cannes prides itself on being invite-only and super strict about it, so those who get in tend to crow about it. For 2024, the 77th iteration of the festival has packed a wallop of a lineup, including the highly anticipated musical Emilia Perez starring Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) and Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building), Francis Ford Coppola's long-awaited Megalopolis remake with Adam Driver (Star Wars) and British actor Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), and David Cronenberg's The Shrouds which originally starred Vincent Cassel (Liasion), Guy Pearce (A Spy Among Friends), and Léa Seydoux (No Time to Die), but the latter dropped out of the film to star in The Second Act, which wound up as the festival's opener.

However, the British and Irish contingents did not do too shabbily. BBC Films had four productions selected, one of which will screen in competition. Bird, from writer-director Andrea Arnold, stars Barry Keoghan (Saltburn) as an absent dad and newcomer Franz Rogowski as the titular Bird. Also in competition, there's Element Pictures teaming up with Disney's Searchlight for Yorgos Lanthimos' next film with Emma Stone, Kinds Of Kindness. Working Title teamed up with Universal for the horror film The Substance by French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat. Brazilian thriller Motel Destino comes from the Aussie-U.K. company Bruhaha Entertainment. And the Irish outfit Tailored Films is partly responsible for the very controversial The Apprentice, Cannes' big headliner film, which is about exactly who you think it is, played by Sebastian Stan, of all people.

BBC Film's other three selections were in the prestigious Un Certain Regard category, reserved for the up-and-comers, and usually filled with projects from writer-directors, many of whom are first-time feature filmmakers. Its main entry is September Says, the feature directorial debut from Ariane Labed, based on the novel Sisters by U.K. author Daisy Johnson. BBC Films also helped fund On Becoming a Guinea Fowl, the second feature from Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni (I am Not a Witch), along with A24 and Element Pictures; it also partly funded Santosh along with Razor Film in Germany and Haut et Court in France, the feature film debut from Indian writer-director Sandhya Suri (I For India). 

A few other notable films: Ben Whishaw's Limonov and Gary Oldman's Parthenope both made it to Cannes in the competition section; we will renew the debate if Jacob Elordi can act or if he's just tall when he stars with Uma Thuman in Oh Canada! Anya Taylor-Joy's Furiosa will turn up out of competition in Mad Max: Or Whatever We're Calling It Now, alongside Kevin Cosner's self-funded Horizons Nonsense (Part 1!); and the rumors about Cate Blanchett and Alicia Vikander starring in Rumours are true, but they too have been relegated to the out of competition slots.

And finally, we would be remiss if we did not note that one Irish oddity landed down in the Midnight Showings section: The Surfer, from Dublin-born filmmaker Lorcan Finnegan, which stars complete madman Nicolas Cage, so if that's your sort of insanity, please do check it out. 

Here's the full rundown.

Cannes 2024 Official Selection

Opening Night Feature

  • The Second Act dir. Quentin Dupieux/feat. Léa Seydoux (France) 
Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohen, Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in 'The Apprentice'

Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohen, Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in 'The Apprentice'

Apprentice Productions Ontario Inc. / Profile Productions 2 Aps / Tailored Films Ltd. 2023


  • The Apprentice dir. Ali Abbasi/feat. Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong (U.S./Ireland)
  • Motel Destino dir. Karim Aïnouz/feat. Fábio Assunção (U.K./Aus)
  • Bird dir. Andrea Arnold/feat. Barry Keoghan (U.K.)
  • Emilia Perez dir. Jacques Audiard/ feat. Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez (France/Mexico)
  • Anora dir. Sean Baker/feat. Mikey Madison (U.S.)
  • Megalopolis dir. Francis Ford Coppola/feat. Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel (U.S.)
  • The Shrouds dir. David Cronenberg/feat. Vincent Cassel, Guy Pearce (France/Canada)
  • The Substance dir. Coralie Fargeat/feat. Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley (U.S./U.K.)
  • Grand Tour dir. Miguel Gomes/feat. Jani Zhao (Portugal/Italy)
  • Marcello Mio dir. Christophe Honoré/feat. Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve (France)
  • Feng Liu Yi Dai dir. Jia Zhang-Ke/feat. Zhao Tao (China)
  • All We Imagine As Light dir. Payal Kapadia/feat. Kani Krusti (India)
  • Kinds Of Kindness dir. Yórgos Lánthimos/feat. Emma Stone (U.S./U.K.)
  • L’Amour Ouf dir. Gilles Lellouche/feat. François Civil (France)
  • Diamant Brut dir. debut Agathe Riedinger/feat. Malou Khebizi (France)
  • Oh Canada dir. Paul Schrader/feat. Jacob Elordi, Uma Thurman (U.S.)
  • Limonov: The Ballad dir. Kirill Serebrennikov/feat. Ben Whishaw (France/Spain)
  • Parthenope dir. Paolo Sorrentino/feat. Gary Oldman (Italy/France)
  • Pigen Med Nålen dir. Magnus Von Horn/feat. Vic Carmen Sonne (Denmark)
Shahana Goswami as Santosh in 'Santosh'

Shahana Goswami as Santosh in 'Santosh'

Un Certain Regard

  • L’Histoire De Souleymane directed by Boris Lojkine (France/Guinea)
  • Boku No Ohisama written & directed by Hiroshi Okuyama (Japan)
  • The Shameless written & directed by Konstantin Bojanov (Swiss)
  • On Becoming A Guinea Fowl written & directed by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia/U.K.)
  • Santosh written & directed by Sandhya Suri (U.K./Germany)
  • Viet & Nam written & directed by Truong Minh Quý (Philippines)
  • Gou Zhen written & directed by Guan Hu (China)

Debut Features

  • Les Damnés written & directed by Roberto Minervini* (Italy/Belgium)
  • Norah written & directed by Tawfik Alzaidi (Saudi Arabia)
  • Le Royaume directed by Julien Colonna (France)
  • Vingt Dieux! directed by Louise Courvoisier (France)
  • Le Procès Du Chien wirtten & diirected by Lætitia Dosch (Swiss)
  • The Village Next To Paradise written & directed by Mo Harawe (Austria)
  • September Says written & directed by Ariane Labed (U.K.)
*Debut fictional feature
Mia Tharia and Pascale Kann as sisters July and September in 'September Says'

Mia Tharia and Pascale Kann as sisters July and September in 'September Says'

Element Pictures/BBC Films

Out Of Competition

  • Mad Max (Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga) dir. George Miller (U.S.)
  • Horizon: An American Saga (Part 1) dir. Kevin Costner (U.S.)
  • She’s Got No Name dir. Chan Peter Ho-Sun (China)
  • Rumours dir. Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Guy Maddin (Germany/Canada)

Midnight Screenings

  • Twilight Of The Warrior Walled In dir. Soi Cheang (China)
  • I, The Executioner dir. Seung Wan Ryoo (South Korea)
  • The Surfer dir. Lorcan Finnegan (Aus/Ireland)
  • Les Femmes Au Balcon dir. Noémie Merlant (France)

Cannes Premieres

  • Miséricorde dir. Alain Guiraudie (France)
  • C’est Pas Moi dir. Leos Carax (France)
  • Everybody Loves Touda dir. Nabil Ayouch (Morocco/France)
  • En Fanfare dir. Emmanuel Courcol (France)
  • Rendez-Vous Avec Pol Pot dir. Rithy Panh (France)
  • Le Roman De Jim dir. Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu (France)

Special Screenings 

  • La Belle De Gaza dir. Yolande Zauberman (France)
  • Apprendre dir. Claire Simon (France)
  • The Invasion dir. Sergei Loznitsa (Ukraine)
  • Ernest Cole, Photographe dir. Raoul Peck (U.S.)
  • Le Fil dir. Daniel Auteuil (France)

The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival runs from Tuesday, May 14, through Saturday, May 25, 2024.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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