A few more titles from the MENA added to Cannes official lineup

With an announcement made on Thursday, the Cannes Film Festival added projects from filmmakers who originally hail from Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco and Iran.
A few more titles from the MENA added to Cannes official lineup

At the press conference held on April 14th in Paris, Cannes delegate Thierry Frémaux seemed to have forgotten most of the Region. Yet after announcing the additional titles added in Un Certain Regard, as well as in the Cannes Premiere and Midnight Screenings, the situation seems to have been rectified.

Along with the titles to come, this week there was also a new poster released for this 75th special anniversary edition of the Festival de Cannes. The graphics capture Jim Carrey in Peter Weir and Andrew Niccol’s The Truman Show (1998), as the actor's fingers touch the horizon. An image of hope and light, coming from these dire times of despair and darkness. May cinema always show us the way!

© Copyright Paramount Pictures Corporation - Jim Carrey, The Truman Show by Peter Weir Graphic design © Hartland Villa

And now back to the films just announced.

Added titles include Moroccan-Belgian directors Adil El Arbi's and Bilall Fallah's latest project Rebel, which is a family drama about a 13-year old Muslim boy who finds himself at a crossroads, along with those around him. The film stars Lubna Azabal, who also stars in another film in Cannes but more on that later, Tara Abboud, whom we know from Amira, Fouad Hajji and Kuwaiti-Jordanian actor Nadeem Rimawi. Rebel, which is sold by Wild Bunch, is included in the Midnight Screenings section.

Un Certain Regard has added four titles, all four with roots in the MENA. Plus que jamais by Emily Atef is a German French co-production, but Atef herself is French-Iranian. In 2017 wrote and directed the film 3 Days in Quiberon which depicts 3 emotional days of one of Europe's biggest stars, Romy Schneider as she gave her last interview to German magazine Stern. The film premiered at the Berlinale. Her latest film's synopsis reads "Hélène and Mathieu have been happy together for many years. The bond that unites them is deep. Faced with an existential decision, Hélène leaves alone for Norway to seek peace and experience the strength of their love."

Mediterranean Fever is Palestinian filmmaker Maha Haj's follow up to Personal Affairs, which premiered in Cannes in 2016. Her latest went through the Grants Programme at the Doha Film Institute in 2018 and her synopsis on their catalogue reads: "Waleed, a Palestinian man, lives comfortably in his sea-view home in Haifa with his wife and children. A former Hi-Tech engineer and aspiring writer, he knows the ins and outs of being a stay-at-home dad, but cannot seem to figure out what it takes to be happy. One day, Waleed is introduced to his new neighbour, who soon becomes the most critical person in his life. Jalal, a kind but pretentious small-time crook with a big heart, quickly develops a close relationship with Waleed who has a strange plan; his desperate hope to have Jalal kill him, while making it look like a natural death. Jalal is furious by his new friend’s insane request and ends all contacts with him. On the other hand, Jalal continues to receive threats from the underworld to whom he owes money." The film stars Amer Hlehel, Ashraf Farah, Anat Hadid and Samir Elias. Haj's film also screens in Un Certain Regard.

We are very excited about Moroccan filmmaker and actress Maryam Touzani's latest, The Blue Caftan in Un Certain Regard. Touzani co-wrote Casablanca Beats and wrote and directed Adam which also premiered in Cannes in 2019 and her latest projects stars Lubna Azabal, see we told you she'd be in another film, along with Saleh Bakri in the story of a couple, Halim and Mina who run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco's oldest medinas. When, in order to keep up with demanding customers, they hire a talented young man as an apprentice, Mina begins to realize how much her husband is moved by his presence. With Azabal and Bakri (pictured above) as an onscreen couple, this film has us at "hello."

Rounding out the selection in Un Certain Regard is Harka ("Before the Spring") the first feature by New York based director and producer Lotfy Nathan. The film stars the smouldering Adam Bessa as Ali, in a story of survival, family and the redefinition of heroism.

Following are all the titles added to the official selection of the Festival de Cannes, which will run from May 17 to the 28, 2022.


LE OTTO MONTAGNE Charlotte Vandermeersch, Felix Van Groeningen Italy/Belgium

UN PETIT FRÈRE Léonor Serraille France


Cannes Premiere

DON JUAN Serge Bozon France

LA NUIT DU 12 Dominik Moll France


Midnight screenings

REBEL Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah Belgique

Un Certain Regard

PLUS QUE JAMAIS Emily Atef Germany/France


LE BLEU DU CAFTAN Maryam Touzani Morocco

HARKA Lotfy Nathan Tunisia (1st film)

Out of Competition

L’INNOCENT Louis Garrel France

Special Screenings

MI PAIS IMAGINARIO Patricio Guzmán Chile (Documentary)

THE VAGABONDS Doroteya Droumeva Germany (1st film)

RIPOSTE FÉMINISTE Marie Perennès, Simon Depardon France
(Documentary - 1st film)

RESTOS DO VENTO Tiago Guedes Portugal


Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre France (Animation - 1st film)

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