Cannes 2018: Small Lineup, No Selfies, No Netflix

by Ana Maria Bahiana April 12, 2018
Press conference announcing lineup Cannes 2018

stephanie de sakutin/getty images

A notable lack of major titles and star-power fuel and a considerable Asian presence are the defining traits of the lineup of the 2018 edition of the Cannes Film Festival.  At the lineup announcement in Paris, Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux blamed protracted post-production issues for the absence of highly anticipated films from directors such as Mike Leigh, Xavier Dolan, and Jacques Audiard. The last-minute exit of several Netflix titles could also be the culprit for his year’s smaller vintage.

High-profile titles in this year’s main selection include Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book, Jafar Panahi’s Three Faces, Asghar Farhadi’s  opening night film Everybody Knows, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem,  Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s Shoplifters, It Follows director David Robert Mitchell’s noir thriller Under the Silver Lake, starring Andrew Garfield, and Golden Globe-nominated  Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War.

As previously announced, Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story will be shown out of competition.

The small 2018 selection – 17 works- will likely be expanded with last-minute additions (like it happened last year with Cannes winner The Square) and maybe, even, the return of  Lars von Trier, who has been banned from the Croisette for a while. “You'll have the answer (to von Trier’s current status) in a few days," Frémaux said at the press conference.

Cannes’ conflict with Netflix over mandatory theatrical exhibition has removed from the Croisette possible titles such as Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark, Paul Greengrass’ Norway, Orson Welles’ restored The Other Side of the Wind, and its companion piece, Morgan Neville’s Welles documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.  Last year Netflix had Joon-Ho Bong’s Okja and Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories in Cannes’ main selection.

Overall, this year’s Cannes will be a rather timid launchpad for high-profile titles, something that Frémaux has addressed at the press conference: “When you are on a strategy of a late [fall] release, Cannes might not be the ideal place to show a film.”

Part of this issue is, according to Frémaux, the early availability of films to the press and critics, which can impact box office and awards performance and give pause to producers and distributors of high-profile films. A new rule established this year has addressed the matter by ending the tradition of press screenings of competition titles in the morning of their gala show. Another new rule this year prohibits selfies on the red carpet.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from 8 to 19 of May.



Films from Cannes 2018

Cannes 2018 vintage (clockwise from top left):  Under the Silver Lake, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Shoplifters and Everybody Knows.

courtesy cannes film festival

Official selection


  • Everybody Knows (dir: Asghar Farhadi) – opening film
  • At War (dir: Stéphane Brizé)
  • Dogman (dir: Matteo Garrone)
  • Le Livre d’Image (dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
  • Asako I & II (dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  • Sorry Angel (dir: Christophe Honoré)
  • Girls of the Sun (dir: Eva Husson)
  • Ash Is Purest White (dir: Jia Zhang-Ke)
  • Shoplifters (dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda)
  • Capernaum (dir: Nadine Labaki)
  • Burning (dir: Lee Chang-Dong)
  • BlacKkKlansman (dir: Spike Lee)
  • Under the Silver Lake (dir: David Robert Mitchell)
  • Three Faces (dir: Jafar Panahi)
  • Cold War (dir: Pawel Pawlikowski)
  • Lazzaro Felice (dir: Alice Rohrwacher)
  • Yomeddine (dir: AB Shawky)
  • Leto (L’Été) (dir: Kirill Serebrennikov)

Un Certain Regard

  • Angel Face (dir: Vanessa Filho)
  • Border (dir: Ali Abbasi)
  • El Angel (dir: Luis Ortega)
  • Euphoria (dir: Valeria Golino)
  • Friend (dir: Wanuri Kahiu)
  • The Gentle Indifference of the World (dir: Adilkhan Yerzhanov)
  • Girl (dir: Lukas Dhont)
  • The Harvesters (dir: Etienne Kallos)
  • In My Room (dir: Ulrich Köhler)
  • Little Tickles (dir: Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)
  • My Favorite Fabric (dir: Gaya Jiji)
  • On Your Knees, Guys (Sextape) (dir: Antoine Desrosières)
  • Sofia (dir: Meyem Benm’Barek)

Out of competition

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (dir: Ron Howard)
  • Le Grand Bain (dir: Gilles Lellouche)
  • Little Tickles (dir: Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night (dir: Bi Gan)

Midnight screenings

  • Arctic (dir: Joe Penna)
  • The Spy Gone North (dir: Yoon Jong-Bing)

Special screenings

  • 10 Years in Thailand (dir: Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  • The State Against Mandela and the Others (dir: Nicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte)
  • O Grande Circo Mistico (dir: Carlo Diegues)
  • Dead Souls (dir: Wang Bing)
  • To the Four Winds (dir: Michel Toesca)
  • La Traversée (dir: Romain Goupil)
  • Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (dir: Wim Wenders)