Cannes Film Festival: Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach and Xavier Dolan in Competition

Cannes Film Festival poster 2019 - P 2019
Courtesy of the Cannes Film Festival

Festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux and president Pierre Lescure on Thursday took to the stage to unveil the films competing for the Palme d'Or, with four competition films from female directors.

The Cannes Film Festival on Thursday unveiled the lineup for its 72nd edition, letting the world know which stars and directors will climb the iconic steps of the French town's Palais this year, including competition entries from Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodovar and Ken Loach.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux and president Pierre Lescure revealed the slate for the world's biggest film event, to be held May 14-25, during a press event in Paris. They took to the stage just after 11 a.m. local time at Paris' UGC Cinema on the French capital's Champs Elysees, with Lescure kicking things off with a tribute to Agnes Varda, noting that the festival is paying homage to the late director with this year's poster. He went on to add that the fest is still strong, despite detractors, and that accreditation requests are up this year. Lescure also pointed to the success of last year's festival entries, including Spike Lee's best adapted screenplay Oscar for the competition film BlacKkKlansman, as indicators of how the event is still a leading voice in the cinema world.

Lescure also said that while Cannes does not select a theme, this year the fest seems to be "romantic and political," explaining that the entries are very political because the artists are interested in political topics. 

Fremaux also touted the makeup of the festival's selection committee, which reached gender parity this year, and the growing inclusion of female directors in the official selection. Four competition films and 13 entries in the Official Selection were helmed by women. 

Fremaux said that Quentin Tarantino's new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not ready yet as the director is still in postproduction, adding that in 35mm the production process is long. But he said the pic could still make it to Cannes if Tarantino finishes it in time. And, as he usually does, Fremaux said the festival would add some more films in the near future. 

As previously announced, the film festival will open with Jim Jarmusch's zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die, starring Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton and Adam Driver alongside music figures like Iggy Pop, Tom Waits and Selena Gomez. The pic will add some much-needed star power to the lineup.

Five-time Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu will lead the main competition jury for the films that are in the running for the Palme d'Or. Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki, whose Capernaum was nominated in the best foreign-language film category at this year's Academy Awards, will head up the Un Certain Regard jury.

See the full Cannes lineup below.

Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar
The Traitor, Marco Bellocchio
Wild Goose Lake, Yinan Diao
Parasite, Bong Joon-ho
Young Ahmed, The Dardenne Brothers
Oh Mercy!, Arnaud Desplechin
Atlantique, Mati Diop
Matthias and Maxime, Xavier Dolan
Little Joe, Jessica Hausner
Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach
Les Miserables, Ladj Ly
A Hidden Life (previously known as Radegund), Terrence Malik
Nighthawk, Kleber Mendonca Filho, Juliano Dornelles
The Whistlers, Corneliu Porumboiu
Frankie, Ira Sachs
The Dead Don't Die, Jim Jarmusch
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Celine Sciamma
It Must Be Heaven, Elia Suleiman
Sybil, Justine Triet 

Out of Competition
Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher
The Best Years of Life, Claude Lelouch
Diego Maradona, Asif Kapadia
La Belle Epoque, Nicolas Bedos
Too Old to Die Young, Nicolas Winding Refn (TV series screening two episodes)

Special Screenings
Share, Pippa Bianco
Family Romance LLC, Werner Herzog
Tommaso, Abel Ferrara
To Be Alive and Know It, Alain Cavalier
For Sama, Waad Al Kateab and Edward Watts

Midnight Screenings
The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, Lee Won-Tae

Un Certain Regard
Invisible Life, Karim Aïnouz
Beanpole, Kantemir Balagov
The Swallows of Kabul, Zabou Breitman & Eléa Gobé Mévellec
A Brother’s Love, Monia Chokri
The Climb, Michael Covino
Joan of Arc, Bruno Dumont
A Sun That Never Sets, Olivier Laxe
Chambre 212, Christophe Honoré
Port Authority, Danielle Lessovitz
Papicha, Mounia Meddour
Adam, Maryam Touzani
Zhuo Ren Mi Mi, Midi Z
Liberte, Albert Serra
Bull, Annie Silverstein
Summer of Changsha, Zu Feng
EVGE, Nariman Aliev