Cannes: Critics’ Week Unveils Lineup

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Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots star in 'Vivarium'

Films starring Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg and Adele Haenel are set for the sidebar.

Cannes' Critics’ Week sidebar unveiled its lineup Monday, with French-Colombian director Franco Lolli's Litigante set as the opening film out of competition.

It's the follow-up to his Gente De Bien, which also was in the parallel section back in 2014.

The first film from Chinese director Xiaogang Gu, Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountain, will screen as the closing film. The story tells the fate of a family as it grapples with shifting seasons.

Overall, 11 feature-length films were selected, with an eclectic mix of countries represented. Seven films will be in competition from the jury, and four will be screened out of competition.

The competition lineup includes Amin Sidi-Boumedine's Abou Leila, the first film from the Algerian director, depicting the country's civil war; Land of Ashes, from Puerto Rican director Sofia Quiros Ubeda, which follows a teenager grappling with the impending deaths of the grandparents who raised her.

Iceleandic director Hlynur Palmason's A White, White Day also grapples with death, as a man tries to deal with the aftermath of his wife's sudden passing. 

Jeremy Clapin's is the only French entry in this year's world-cinema focused selection with I Lost My Body, an animated tale about a man's severed hand trying to return to its rightful owner

Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz's Our Mothers, which revisits the history of people who went missing during the country's military dictatorship, is also in competition, along with Alaa Eddine Aljem's The Unknown Saint, a first film from the Moroccan director, which revolved around a thief trying to recover his buried loot, 

Lorcan Finnegan's Vivarium, boasts the only big names with star turns from Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg as a couple who get trapped in a supernatural world.

Two films will receive special screenings, including the first feature from Aude Lea Rapin, Heroes Don't Die, an eclectic film that follows a man who believes he is someone else's reincarnation, and toys with the boundaries of fiction and documentary. It stars French actress Adele Haenel and Jonathan Couzinié.

The first film from The Secret of the Grain actress Hafsia Herzi, Tu Merites un Amour, follows a woman looking for love, and will also receive a special slot.

Ciro Guerra, whose Embrace of the Serpent was nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar in 2015, will serve as jury president, along with French-British actress Amira Casar, Danish producer Marianne Slot, Belgian-Congolese journalist Dija Mambu and Italian director Jonas Carpignano, whose Mediterranea screened in the sidebar in 2015 and whose A Ciambra won the Directors' Fortnight Europa Cinema prize in 2017.