Cannes: Josh Hartnett, Mark Hamill Films Set for Critics' Week

Brigsby Bear Stundance Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Sundance

Brigsby Bear Stundance Still - Publicity - H 2017

An animated film, Ali Soozandeh's 'Tehran Taboo,' also will be included for the first time.

Directing duo Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza will open the Critics' Week program in Cannes with their genre-busting mythical mafia romance drama Sicilian Ghost Story, which will screen out of competition, organizers said Friday.

The pair won the top prize in 2013 for their hit-man thriller Salvo and will bring their Romeo and Juliette-meets-The Godfather drama to the sidebar this year. 

The out-of-competition closing film will be Dave McCary’s star-studded Sundance hit Brigsby Bear. The kidnap comedy from Saturday Night Live's Kyle Mooney stars Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear and Andy Samberg.

The Critics’ Week sidebar aims to promote young filmmakers with first or second films in competition. In all, seven features will vie for the Nespresso Grand Prize, and 10 shorts will compete for the Leica Cine Discovery prize.

Also screening out of competition in the sidebar are Hubert Charuel’s farm thriller Bloody Milk and Thierry de Peretti’s A Violent Life, which dives into the Corsican crime world with non-professional actors.

Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho, whose Aquarius was in the main competition last year, will head up the jury, which is rounded out by last year’s Chopard trophy winner Niels Schneider, 2015's Golden Camera winner and Land and Shade producer Diana Bustamante Escobar, distributor Hania Mroue and film critic Eric Kohn.

For the first time, the competition will include a documentary and an animated film amongst its seven entries. Ali Soozandeh’s Tehran Taboo skirts limitations of filming in Iran using animation to examine the hypocrisy of the religious regime there. And Makala, documentarian Emmanuel Gras' follow-up to his 2011 animal study Bovines, follows a Congolese trader’s life and family.

First features in competition include Japanese helmer Atsuko Hiranayagi’s star-crossed love comedy Oh Lucy!, starring Josh Hartnett; Lea Mysius’s Ava, a contemporary take on the economic and emotional limits facing today’s youth; and Gustavo Rondon Cordova’s Venezuelan-set father-son drama La Familia.

Los Perros, the second feature from The Summer of Flying Fish director Marcela Said, examines the continued repercussions of the Pinochet dictatorship on modern-day Chile, and Brazilian filmmaker Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa’s follows up 2014's Casa Grande with African aid drama Gabriel and the Mountain.

The sidebar is set to run May 18-26.