Cannes: The 30 Buzziest Sales Titles in Competition

Cannes isn’t Sundance. The movies on offer aren’t generally genre horror box office surprises or heartwarming indie dramedies, and sometimes they’re not even sure-fire Oscar hopefuls.

But as several sales agents and distributors told us, Cannes is slowly shifting back to being a home for discovery. With the audience now unbothered by subtitles, distributors aren’t just looking for the next “May December” but the next “Anatomy of a Fall.” And when it comes to the package titles on the Marché du Film, buyers are demanding more than the latest Nicolas Cage shark movie.

The sources IndieWire spoke to believe there’s more quality than quantity among this year’s official competition sales titles and the packages being shopped to distributors. And that’s a good thing, even though there are still plenty of hot packages trickling in by the day and buyers already scooping up competition titles that otherwise would’ve qualified for this list.

10 Hot Official Selection Sales Titles

“The Apprentice” (Competition)
Director: Ali Abbasi
Stars: Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong, Maria Bakalova,
Genre: Biography and Drama
Buzz: There’s no shortage of morbid curiosity to see what Sebastian Stan can do as a young Donald Trump in what expects to be a timely and urgent indie drama.

“Bird” (Competition)
Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Barry Keoghan, Franz Rogowski, Nykiya Adams
Genre: Drama
Buzz: CAA and Cornerstone specifically withheld early screenings and kept mum about some of the specifics of Andrea Arnold’s latest contemporary coming-of-age story in order to let its premiere be a true discovery, especially for its teenage newcomer star.

“Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point” (Director’s Fortnight)
Director: Tyler Taormina
Stars: Michael Cera, Elsie Fisher
Genre: Family Dramedy
Buzz: A potentially bizarre turn for Michael Cera that also features both Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese’s offspring, Taormina’s comedy could stand out in a Director’s Fortnight field with more English-language titles than usual.

“Emilia Perez” (Competition)
Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez, Edgar Ramirez
Genre: Comedy and Crime
Buzz: Distributors are salivating at this film’s intriguing premise and arguably highest-profile cast of the competition slate and are hoping for another gem from the “Rust and Bone” filmmaker.


“Megalopolis” (Competition)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel
Genre: Drama and Sci-Fi
Buzz: The fact that it didn’t land a massive worldwide deal after that early friends-and-family pre-screening hasn’t deterred other interest, especially internationally, in Coppola’s epic.

“Motel Destino” (Competition)
Director: Karim Aïnouz
Stars: Fábio Assunção
Genre: Thriller
Buzz: The specialty crowd could be quite interested in Aïnouz’s erotic thriller return to Brazil after competing for the Palme with last year’s “Firebrand” and winning the Un Certain Regard with 2019’s “Invisible Life.”

“Oh, Canada” (Competition)
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Jacob Elordi
Genre: Drama
Buzz: Gere is said to give a strong, potentially awards-caliber performance in Paul Schrader’s latest, and we’re hearing the film is already tracking well with strong buyer interest so far.

Queens of Drama
‘Queens of Drama’Courtesy Charades

“Queens of Drama” (Critic’s Week)
Director: Alexis Langlois
Stars: Louiza Aura, Gio Ventura, Bilal Hassani, Asia Argento, and Alma Jodorowsky
Genre: Drama and Musical
Buzz: This romance about a pop idol falling for a punk icon was described to us as “the queerest film you’ve ever seen.” IndieWire exclusively had the first clip from the film.

“Le Royaume (The Kingdom)” (Un Certain Regard)
Director: Julien Colonna
Stars: Andrea Cossu
Genre: Thriller
Buzz: Netflix and Canal+ co-financed this father-daughter thriller and already have French broadcast rights to this film from a writer-director making his debut feature. With CAA and Goodfellas coming on board early, it has a chance to be a genre discovery out of Un Certain Regard.

“Savages!” (Special Screenings)
Director: Claude Barras
Genre: Family and Animation
Buzz: The latest stop-motion charmer from the director of “My Life as a Zucchini” is an environmental fable about a baby orangutan.

20 Hot Package Titles We’re Keeping an Eye On

CANNES, FRANCE - JULY 17:  Julia Ducournau poses with the Palme d'Or 'Best Movie Award' for 'Titane' during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 17, 2021 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

“Alpha” (Pre-Production)
Director: Julia Ducournau
Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Tahar Rahim
Buzz: Plot details are totally under wraps, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a 2025 Official Selection contending for the Palme.

“Alpha Gang” (Pre-Production)
Director: David and Nathan Zellner
Cast: Cate Blanchett
Buzz: Another bizarro comedy from the Zellners, this time about alien invaders disguised as a ’50s biker gang, and Blanchett is also producing.

“Belly of the Beast” (Pre-Production)
Director: Andrew Haigh
Cast: Ben Stiller, Colin Farrell
Buzz: A biographical film from the “All of Us Strangers” director based on the true story of Norman Mailer and his unlikely friendship with protégé, Jack Henry Abbott.

“The Bookie and the Bruiser” (Pre-Production)
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Cast: Adrien Brody, Vince Vaughn
Buzz: Two WWII veterans struggling in their return home from wartime form an unlikely alliance when they start an illegal gambling ring and catch the attention of the Irish mob.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: James McAvoy attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating

“California Schemin’” (Pre-Production)
Director: James McAvoy
Cast: Samuel Bottomley, Seamus McLean Ross
Buzz: The “Split” actor’s directorial debut is based on the true story of two Scottish scammers who posed as California rappers and even wound up on MTV and on stage with Eminem before being found out as frauds.

“The Death of Robin Hood” (Pre-Production)
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jodie Comer
Buzz: A twist on the classic story of Robin Hood on his path to redemption from the director of “Pig” and the upcoming “A Quiet Place: Day One.”

“Double Booked” (Pre-Production)
Director: Adam Scott
Cast: Adam Scott, Sterling K. Brown, Zazie Beetz, Alexandria Daddario
Buzz: Adam Scott makes his directorial debut on this claustrophobic, tightly-wound thriller.

“Encore” (Pre-Production)
Director: Simon Curtis
Cast: Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Henry Winkler, Don Johnson
Buzz: A charming, funny, feel-good comedy about old Broadway stars performing for their retirement home.

“Flesh of the Gods” (Pre-Production)
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Oscar Isaac
Buzz: An art house, ’80s-inspired vampire thriller from the “Mandy” director with an A-list cast.

“I Play Rocky” (Pre-Production)
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: None
Buzz: No word yet on who will play Stallone in this biopic about the making of “Rocky,” but we’re told Sly has at least given his blessing to the project.

“In the Hand of Dante” (Post-Production)
Director: Julian Schnabel
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Al Pacino, Gerard Butler, Martin Scorsese
Buzz: This mystery film about the writing of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” could be a fall festival play. And yes, Martin Scorsese is acting in this as Dante’s mentor.

‘Jimpa’Mark de Blok (C) MDB24

“Jimpa” (Filming)
Director: Sophie Hyde
Cast: Olivia Colman, John Lithgow
Buzz: A heartwarming crowdpleaser about an LGBTQ+ family from the director of “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.”

“The King of Covent Garden” (Pre-Production)
Director: Andrew Levitas
Cast: Anthony Hopkins
Buzz: Hopkins as Handel, the 17th century musical genius who inspired Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn.

“The Last Showgirl” (Post-Production)
Director: Gia Coppola
Cast: Pamela Anderson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dave Bautista, Brenda Song, Kiernan Shipka, Billie Lourd
Buzz: Pamela Anderson leads the cast of Coppola’s art house drama in her first lead role in years as an aging Vegas dancer looking to reinvent herself.

'The Last Showgirl'
‘The Last Showgirl’Utopia

“Monsanto” (Pre-Production)
Director: John Lee Hancock
Cast: Glen Powell, Anthony Mackie, Laura Dern
Buzz: A poor groundskeeper with cancer sues the U.S. chemical giant in this true story produced by Adam McKay.

“Nuremberg” (Pre-Production)
Director: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Russell Crowe, Rami Malek, Michael Shannon
Buzz: A post-war historical drama set in Germany about an American psychiatrist tasked with determining whether Nazis are mentally fit to stand trial at the hands of the Allies.

“Power Ballad” (Filming)
Director: John Carney
Cast: Paul Rudd, Nick Jonas
Buzz: Likely to be another delightful Carney musical comedy, this time about a wedding singer and a rock star and the song that comes between them.

“Press Your Luck” (Post-Production)
Director: Samir Oliveros
Cast: Paul Walter Hauser, Walton Goggins, David Strathairn, Masie Williams, Haley Bennett and Johnny Knoxville
Buzz: The true story of a man whose get rich quick scheme was cheating the classic ’80s game show out of thousands by memorizing the pattern of the show’s game board.

Paul Walter Hauser Press Your Luck

“Takes One to Know One” (Pre-Production)
Director: Nathalie Biancheri
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Jamie Bell
Buzz: The Italian director of 2019’s “Nocturnal” directs what’s described as an alternative rom-com that also features Cooke as a producer.

“Untitled Christy Martin” (Pre-Production)
Director: David Michôd
Cast: Sydney Sweeney
Buzz: The “Euphoria” star jumps in the ring as the most successful female boxer of the ’90s to tackle the story of the abuse Martin had to endure from her husband, coach, and manager, Jim Martin.

SOURCE: Indie Wire

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