5 Must See Films Debuting In Cannes In 2019

Here’s five films debuting in Cannes that’ll grab the headlines and be your “must sees” for 2019.

Cannes Film Festival - stock

The Cannes Film Festival is celebrating its 72nd year in 2019, and as always it is set to deliver a steady mix of star names, new faces and a huge array of subject matters.

Through a mass selection of upcoming cinema, here are fives films to turn your attention too, and ones that are sure to make the headlines.

The Dead Don’t Die (Jim Jarmusch)

Boasting “The greatest zombie cast ever disassembled,” the film finds police officers (Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny) and morgue expert (Tilda Swinton) trying to keep the humdrum town of Centerville safe from a zombie infestation. With zombies played by Iggy Pop, Sara Driver and Carol Kane.

Iggy Pop has previously teamed up with Jarmusch in Gimme Danger, and he isn’t the only musical icon to be in the film, with Selena Gomez and Tom Waits also making an appearance.

The Dead Don’t Die will be broadcast simultaneously in 4,000 theatres across France. While it is unsure if you will need to hide behind the sofa in fear, or use a tissue to wipe your tears from laughter, Jarmusch’s intriguing set-up is likely to delight.

Little Joe (Jessica Hausner)

This film takes an unsettling-sounding story about a genetically engineered flower plant, crimson in colour, that causes strange changes to living creatures.

Standing as one of only four female directors to be in for a chance of the top prize this year, Jessica Hausner has a lot of expectation on her shoulders, but with such an original story behind her, she should be in with a fantastic chance to claim the top spot.

For the first time Cannes claims to have “methodically counted the female directors submitting their films for selection” and the jury for the big one is made up of four men and four women, including movie star Elle Fanning.

Atlantics (Mati Diop)

As mentioned, female directors have often been overlooked in the competition, black female filmmakers however, have been absent entirely.

Which is why Mati Diop is making history this year, becoming the first ever female black filmmaker to enter the competition.
Starring Mame Sane as a young woman in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, Atlantics follows the woman as her lover disappears on a venture to Europe for greater opportunities.

A hugely topical film for the festival, discussions will be held about the potential impact of Brexit on the film industry.

Diego Maradona (Asif Kapadia)

This film is a self-titled documentary about the charismatic and often troubled footballer Diego Armando Maradona.
Asif Kapadia won an Oscar for his 2016 feature documentary about the late soul singer Amy Winehouse, and he also directed the 2011 film discussing the life and death of Brazilian motor-racing champion Ayrton Senna.

The life of Maradona is often controversial, and this film is set to explore the tale of “how the world’s most celebrated football genius and the most dysfunctional city in Europe (Napoli) were a perfect match for each other.”

Set for UK release on june 14, the documentary is sure to bring back some nightmares for England fans everywhere.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Last but not least, the least surprising but definitely worth mentioning film on our list comes from, of course, Quentin Tarantino. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was declared ready for the competition with mere weeks to spare.

The film is set in 1969 against the backdrop of the Manson Murders starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, and is certain to be one you don’t want to miss.

It wasn’t listed on the initial official selection last month but Thierry Frémaux (Festival Director) suggested he would welcome a late addition from the US director, who he later called: “A real, loyal and punctual child of Cannes!”

This isn’t the only film to raise eyebrows as two other late announcements came forth last week, one being that Sylvester Stallone will return to promote Rambo V – Last Blood, and the other that Mel Gibson is heading to the festival market as Santa Clause in action-comedy, Fatman.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered on May 21, exactly 25 years to the day since another of his creations, the 1994 Palme d’Or-winning Pulp Fiction, was first shown to a captivated Cannes audience.

If Tarantino wins it would be a truly Hollywood ending for the filmmaker and his supporters.

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About the Author
Leah is a former student of film, media and culture studies and English literature at the University of Huddersfield. When not in uni or writing for magazines she is pulling pints in the local pub, drinking an excessive amount of tea or reading up on the latest philosophical theories.

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