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Official competition, parallel selections, out of competition... The big bazaar of categories in Cannes

The 77th edition of the world cinema event has just started.

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Official competition, parallel selections, out of competition... The big bazaar of categories in Cannes

The 77th edition of the world cinema event has just started. Festival-goers will discover highly anticipated films, more discreet art-house feature films and Hollywood productions. Several dozen fictions brought together in different selections, which may seem obscure beyond the perimeter of the Croisette.

Each year, several dedicated teams led by general delegate Thierry Frémaux view around 2,000 feature films sent by filmmakers from around the world. Compared to half, in fact, around ten years ago. Around twenty of them will be selected in the premier category, the official competition, with the hope of obtaining the palme d'or. Among the films competing in 2024, the astonishing Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola, a biopic of Donald Trump or the new daydream by director Yórgos Lánthimos.

Also read All the films in the 2024 official selection

Around twenty other productions are taking the path of Un certain regard. A section that celebrates auteur cinema, or promising first films. Several prizes are awarded there. The Kingdom will notably be on the 2024 program. A Corsican feature film (the Isle of Beauty is quite present this year in Cannes) by Julien Colonna.

Outside of competition, the festival often screens popular films or events that are not intended to rival the official competition. For this 77th edition, it will be the new part of the Mad Max or The Count of Monte Cristo saga with Pierre Niney, the biggest cinematographic budget of the year.

In the official selection, we must add to these different categories the midnight screenings, which offer genre films, the Cannes Premières (sometimes more discreet or offbeat works by important filmmakers), Cannes Classics and its restorations...

Launched after the tumultuous 1968 edition, the Directors' Fortnight (for more "inclusiveness", it abandoned the name Directors' Fortnight in 2022) aims to be more daring and less academic. Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee were noticed there. If it traditionally refuses to award prizes, the selection innovates this year with a public vote.

In 2023, we saw The Goldman Trial by Cédric Kahn. And during this fortnight we will discover La Prisonnière de Bordeaux with Isabelle Huppert or even a police farce very freely inspired by the Dupont de Ligonnès affair.

Critics' Week, made up as its name suggests of representatives of the international specialized press, focuses on first and second feature films. Several awards, including a grand prize, are awarded. Gaspard Noé and Leos Carax took their first steps there. In 2023, Tiger Stripes, a Malaysian fiction, was crowned there. The 2024 selection opens with Les Fantômes, a first film about the hunt in Strasbourg for a Syrian war criminal.

More discreet and the most recent of the selections, the ACID presents independent productions with, to quote it, “the desire to shake up the norms”. Or even molest them. We saw the beautiful animated film Linda Wants Chicken! , in 2023.

Thierry Frémaux, the general delegate of the festival, repeats that all the selections are complementary. Which does not prevent each of them, and in particular the official one, from seeking to bring together the most enviable poster.

The members of the jury, gathered on the last day at a secret address and deprived of their mobile phones, proceed to a vote. The grand prize is worth a silver medal. The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer received it in 2023. After 120 Beats per Minute (2017) or The Son of Saul (2015).

The jury prize, even if this specificity is not always respected, must reward a particularly original work. It was awarded last year to Aki Kaurismäki's Dead Leaves. In the past, Il Divo (2008) or Mommy (2014) have been crowned.

The awards for screenplay, direction, male performance and female performance speak for themselves. Please note that a film can only receive one award. Except the jury and screenplay prizes which may include an acting prize...

Also read: Greta Gerwig: “In the United States,

The Palme d’Or, the most famous award, crowns the best film in the official competition. After the success acquired thanks to it by Anatomy of a Fall last year (a box office success and an Oscar), the 2024 prize list should be closely scrutinized.

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