/ 15 May 2023

Catch them … if you Cannes

The New Boy Benking 01
Having nun of it: Scene from Cannes entrants ‘The New Boy’ by Warwick Thornton

The 76th Cannes Film Festival is on. With more than 60 movies on this year’s lineup, some of the biggest names in the business will be sharing the screen with fresh newcomers. 

The event in Cannes, France, is considered the world’s most prestigious festival for filmmakers. 

The president of this year’s jury is Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund, three-time winner of the Palme d’Or and Oscar-nominated director of Triangle of Sadness. Among the jurors is British-Zambian director Rungano Nyoni. 

We’re excited to see who will take home the Palme d’Or. Here are teasers on some of the entrants. 


‘Asteroid City’ by Wes Anderson 

The king of quirky scripts and saturated hues brings extra-terrestrials to the desert during a Junior Stargazer convention in 1955. As students from across the US, and their parents, gather at the scholarly event, aliens are suspected to be among them. 

Asteroid City brings together familiar faces in the Anderson universe, such as Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman and Jeff Goldblum, as well as Maya Hawke, Tom Hanks, and Steve Carell. 

The film premieres this weekend and opens worldwide next month. 


‘Banel & Adama’ by Ramata-Toulaye Sy

Banel & Adama tells the story of a young couple who decide to leave their home in a village in Senegal where Adama is reluctant to accept his destiny as the village’s chief.

The villagers disapprove of his decision to break with tradition. Chaos ensues, the rains fail to arrive and the pursuit of passion over tradition is challenged.

Scene from ‘Banel & Adama’ by Ramata-Toulaye Sy

This fierce love story is French-Senegalese Sy’s first film.


‘The Occupied City’ by Steve McQueen

The Oscar-winning director behind films such as 12 Years a Slave and Widows is bringing a hefty four-hour documentary to the festival.

The Occupied City is about the  Nazi occupation of Amsterdam from 1940 to 1945. It draws inspiration from the book Atlas of an Occupied City, which was illustrated by his wife Bianca Stigter. 

The film looks at the city, where residents live with the ghosts of the past, as well as visible and less visible traces of World War II. 

‘The New Boy’ by Warwick Thornton 

Cannes-winning director Thornton brings together Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett and newcomer Aswan Reid to tell the story of an Aboriginal boy (Reid) who meets a renegade nun (Blanchett) in 1940. The arrival of the youngster disrupts the delicate world of the remote monastery where survival is made possible by any means necessary. 


‘The Zone of Interest’ by Jonathan Glazer

A common theme throughout the films at Cannes this year is a raw reckoning with the atrocities of World War II. The Zone of Interest was filmed at Auschwitz in Poland, the largest of the Nazi concentration camps and extermination centres.

It promises an unsettling and unembellished look into the lives of those imprisoned in the camps and the personal lives of the Germans running them. 

The Zone of Interest, based on the novel of the same title by Martin Amis, is a love story set in a most unromantic setting — Nazi-occupied Poland. 

The camp’s commander Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig have cushy lives, thanks to the economics of the war, but a move away from the camp threatens this, as Hedwig refuses to leave.