The 2018 Cannes Film Festival is hitting the headlines for more than just being one of the hottest events of the year – here’s a whistle-stop tour of the biggest surprises and controversies

From the 8th to the 19th May this year the 71st Cannes Film Festival will be adorning the Palais des Festivals again with Cate Blanchette heading up the jury. A unique venue in the film calendar – because it is arguably the best film market for industry professionals combined with being most glamorous, star-studded film festival in the world – film fans await news with baited breath on the run up to opening night.

But what should you expect from this year’s festival? Here are the five biggest talking points surrounding this year’s event.

  • Which film is opening the festival?

If you’re a Penelope Cruz fan then you’ll be delighted to know that Everybody Knows, which is also starring Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darín is opening the Cannes Film Festival this year. A psychological thriller and Spanish-language film, written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, the screening is also the world premiere. The story of a Spanish woman who takes a trip to her Spanish hometown with her family only to encounter some rather unexpected events, the well-crafted trailer ends with the words “Now…everybody knows.” A secret is out, but the world will have to wait for the film festival to find out what!

Until then, the trailer offers the only clues:

  • Cannes bans Netflix films

Last year Netflix made big headlines at the festival with Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. Yet post-festival protests, which were launched off the back of French law which states films can’t be shown in homes until three years after their theatrical release, caused chaos. According to Variety, the rules of this year’s Cannes Film Festival have been changed so a theatrical release in France is essential to enter.

“Under those rules, we could not release our films day-and-date to the world like we’ve released nearly 100 films over the last couples of years,” explained Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer to Variety.

“And if we did that, we’d have to hold back that film from French subscribers for three years under French law. Therefore, our films are not qualified for the Cannes Film Festival competition.”

  • Who’s in competition?

Cinephiles were waiting anxiously until 12th April to find out which films are going to be competing for the Palme d’Or – and now we know. In competition this year, candidates include: Everybody Knows (Asghar Farhadi), Le Livre D’image (Jean-Luc Goddard), Blackkklansman (Spike Lee), Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski) and Lazzaro Felice (Alice Rohrwacher).

For Un Certain Regard the competing films include: Border (Ali Abassi), Euphoria (Valeria Golino), In My Room (Ulrich Köhler) and The Gentle Indifference of the World (Adilkhan Yerzanov).

  • Saudi Arabia is making a Cannes debut

The eighties were a time of movie magic and musical genius for many, but in Saudi Arabia at this time cinemagoing was banned. April 2018, however, has seen Saudi Arabia reunite with the film scene, with the first AMC-branded cinema opening in Riyadh. The film Black Panther will be the first cinema release to be shown.

Here is the trailer:

In Cannes, the kingdom will have a dedicated pavilion for the first time at the festival’s film market.

“Saudi Arabia is embarking on the development of a sustainable and dynamic industry that supports and encourages all stages of a film cycle and offers an incredible range of locations for the world’s filmmakers to discover,” Awwad Alawwad, Saudi culture minister and chairman of GCA’s board said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In addition, there will be screenings of nine short films by Saudi filmmakers at the festival’s Short Film Corner on 14 and 15 May.

  • Scorcese to be awarded the Carrosse d’Or 

Last year it was Werner Herzog and this year it will be Martin Scorcese who will be honoured with the prestigious Carrosse d’Or (Golden Coach).

It is awarded by the guild of French directors, who reward independent and courageous direction, and will be given during the opening night of Director’s fortnight. Scorcese 1974 film Mean Streets will be screened in honour of his victory.

For the latest news about the Cannes Film Festival, check out #Cannes2018 on Twitter and visit the official website. If you’re looking to buy a property in Cannes and want to know the best places for an investment, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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