Cannes Film Festival 2021, July 6-17

The pandemic has made armchair travellers of us. As many countries are still keeping Covid restrictions intact, some requiring quarantine for international arrivals, the best way to travel, at least for now, could well be sticking to your imaginary itinerary.

For the highly motivated, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival will resume July 6-17 this year, after a cancelled 2020 event. For filmmakers, this is good news, Cannes is bursting with films that have accumulated since 2019. So, put on your running shoes and head to the Promenade de la Croisette (photo above, source: Wikipedia Commons) and walk up the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals. After Covid, I’m sure the Cannes gate keepers will loosen up a bit with the high-heel code. Instead, Covid measures will be in place.

Saftey protocols include face coverings, social distancing, showing of full vaccination, if unable to provide, there’ll be Covid tests onsite. And, according to Reuters, while there will be ‘no kissing at the top of the red carpet’, festival director Thierry Fremaux said restrictions should not be too onerous.

Imagine you’re at the Palais des Festivals, the venue of the Cannes Film Festival, here’s what you’ll see…

Jodie Foster will kick off the 74th Festival de Cannes as the special guest of the Opening Ceremony. Foster first stepped on the red carpet at Cannes in 1976 when she was only 13 years old as the film she was in won the Palme d’Or, that’s Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. This time, she will be awarded an honorary Palme d’Or.

You might also catch a glimpse of the jury president Spike Lee on the Croisette. Other celebs sightings could well be the stars in the official selections. The following are the ones I anticipate watching (For the full list, click here to the Cannes website)


In Competition:

Annette (France) – Opening Film, Leos Carax directs Marion Cotillard, Adam Driver

Bergman Island (France) – Mia Hansen-Løve directs Mia Wasikowska, Tim Roth

Drive My Car (Japan) –  Ryûsuke Hamaguchi directs Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masaki Okada

Flag Day (USA) – Sean Penn directs Katheryn Winnick, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn

Memoria (Thailand) – Apichatpong Weerasethakul directs Tilda Swinton, Daniel Giménez-Cacho

The French Dispatch (USA) – Wes Anderson directs Timothée Chalamet, Elizabeth Moss, Frances McDormand and all the Wes Anderson usuals

A Hero (Iran) – Asghar Farhadi directs Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh

Un Certain Regard:

Blue Bayou (USA) – Justin Chon directs Justin Chon, Alicia Vikander

After Yang (USA) – Kogonada directs Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith

Cannes Premiere:

In Front of Your Face (Korea) – Hong Sang-Soo directs

Mothering Sunday – Eva Husson directs Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Josh O’Connor


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

9 thoughts on “Cannes Film Festival 2021, July 6-17”

  1. Looks like there are some interesting films, there, Arti.

    I probably haven’t told you but I organise a little group of volunteers who index two Aussie film journals for the National Film and Sound Archive, where I used to work. One of the magazines has a regular section on Film Festivals, and most of the reports over the last year have been about cancelled ones, hybrid ones, and all virtual ones. It’s been interesting seeing how different festivals have managed.


    1. WG, good to know that you’ve had such an interesting career before. Would you accept one more volunteer in your team? 🙂 Definitely there will be many more FF this year than last, some are online, but many are opening cautiously.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, that’s a great offer Arti. It would be great to have you but there are a couple of issues. One is that it’s quite a tricky database to learn to use online without someone stepping you through it, and the second is that each country’s archive is responsible for its country’s output. (This is the index we contribute to: – it was originally only printed but is now also available online) However, if you are really interested, let me know (email me perhaps) and I’ll speak to the person in Belgium who manages the program.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Arti,

    Thanks for the shoutout! Congratulations to Jodie Foster!

    Looking forward to seeing The French Dispatch even though I’m not a Wes Anderson fan. I love Frances McDormand and Timothee Chalamet.



    1. I’ve seen the trailer of TFD, it’s beautifully done. The film is a visual delight. That’s my most anticipated title on that list. And, of course, Colin Firth and Olivia Colman together, and with Josh O’Connor as the son to OC (like in The Crown) that would be high on my TBW list too.


  3. Our friend George the Cyclist bicycles to Cannes every year and then sticks around Europe and follows the Tour de France. He’s a very wild camper but loves going. I don’t know if he’ll do it this year because of Covid protocols and traveling (he missed it last year). Not my way to go to Cannes but that’s George!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exciting… cycling to Cannes and then follow the Tour de France. Maybe Rick would be joining George when Covid is over? As for me, I’ll keep that in my ‘bucket list’… not cycling but covering the Cannes FF and strolling along the Promenade de la Croisette. 🙂


    1. Well, Stefanie, I wish… I’ll have to wait till these films get their N. Am. distributorship before watching them. But for the USA titles, I’m sure we’ll be able to stream them or even watch in the theatre later this year, now that we’re beginning to reopen. Don’t miss ‘The French Dispatch.’ Check out its trailer. It’s like a graphic novel put on screen. Beautifully rendered.

      Liked by 1 person

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