'Ismael's Ghosts' to open Cannes Film Festival 2017

'Ismael's Ghosts' to open Cannes Film Festival 2017

'Ismael's Ghosts' to open Cannes Film Festival 2017

New films by Sofia Coppola, Noah Baumbach, Todd Haynes, Michael Haneke and Michel Hazanavicius will be among the competitors for the Palme d'Or at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, which will begin with French film "Ismael's Ghosts".

The festival, to be held May 17-28, will open with a lineup that includes 49 films from 29 countries, 12 of them by female directors, said Thierry Fremaux, the festival's director, at a news conference in Paris, reported New York Times.

Coppola's "The Beguiled," starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell, is a remake of the 1971 film that starred Clint Eastwood. Haynes's "Wonderstruck" is based on a 2011 young adult novel by Brian Selznick and tells the stories of two deaf children; it is an Amazon Studios production.

Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)," starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, is a Netflix original production, as is another film in competition, "Okja" by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton.

Asked about the presence of productions from Netflix and Amazon, which means some films shown at Cannes may hardly be seen in commercial theaters, Fremaux said, "The festival is a laboratory."

Other innovations this year, Fremaux added, include "Carne y Arena", a virtual-reality project by the Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu.

Two television shows will also be presented, although they will not be part of the competition: the second season of "Top of the Lake" by Jane Campion, the only woman so far to win a Palme d'Or; and some episodes of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" revival.

Other Cannes regulars are also vying for the Palme d'Or. Mr. Haneke, whose "Amour" won an Academy Award for best foreign-language film in 2013, will present "Happy End"; Andrei Zvyagintsev, whose "Leviathan" won the award for best screenplay in Cannes in 2014 and a Golden Globe for best foreign film in 2015, will present "Loveless"; and Hazanavicius, whose "The Artist" won the Academy Award for best picture in 2012, will present "Redoubtable."

Also in competition for the Palme d'Or are "You Were Never Really Here," by the Scottish director Lynne Ramsay ("We Need To Talk About Kevin"), a second Amazon Studios production, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a war veteran who attempts to save a girl from a sex trafficking ring; "Good Time," a comedy by the brothers Benny and Josh Safdie, starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh; and "The Killing of a Sacred Deer," by the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose "The Lobster" showed at Cannes in 2015.

International critics complained last year that there were too many French films in competition, and there are fewer French entries this time. The films from the host country include "Rodin," by Jacques Doillon; "L'Amant Double," by François Ozon; and "120 Beats a Minute," by Robin Campillo.

The festival's opening night film "Ismael's Ghosts," by the French director Arnaud Desplechin will be shown out of competition.

Other films in competition this year are "In the Fade," by the German director Fatih Akin; "Radiance," by the Japanese director Naomi Kawase; "The Day After," by the Korean director Hong Sang-soo; "Jupiter's Moon," by the Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo; and "A Gentle Creature," by the Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa.

The festival, which will open just days after the French presidential elections, will be the second to be held with the country under a state of emergency after a spate of terrorist attacks.

The festival's president, Pierre Lescure, said on Thursday that organizers aimed to provide tight security without compromising audience comfort.