Canada at Cannes

CannesCon – The Maple Leaf Flies at this Year’s Cannes Film Festival

Cronenberg, Dolan, and Rankin among Canadians coming to the Croisette

We’re only a few days away from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which means it’s time to begin to celebrate the many Canadian productions that are being showcased at this storied event.

Not since the likes of Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, and Xavier Dolan shared the competition slate more than a decade ago have so many talents from this country been attending the fest in France. This year, Cronenberg once again appears in official competition with Shroud, a remarkable seventh film to make it part of the main slate. He famously took home an award for “Daring and Audacity” back in 1996 for Crash, with a jury then-headed by Francis Ford Coppola, whose own Megalopolis is screening alongside our favourite Canadian son.

Ali Abbasi (Holy Spider) returns for the third time to to the fest with his highly anticipated film The Apprentice, which has plenty of Canadian talent behind its creation. The weirdos of Winnipeg are in abundance as well, with Rumours by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson playing out of competition, while Universal Language by Matthew Rankin (The Twentieth Century) brings a mix of Wes Anderson and Fritz Lang to the Croisette.

Cannes-con short films include Telos I by Emil Dam Seidel and Dorotea Saykaly, Perfectly a Strangeness by Alison McAlpine, and The Roaming by Mathieu Pradat. Last but not least, Beza Hailu Lemma Alazar will debut as part of the Critics’ Week sidebar.


As Julie Roy, executive director and CEO of Telefilm Canada describes things, “This year’s outstanding representation reflects the artistic excellence of a variety of talents, from the most experienced to the emerging, and the incredible diversity of the stories they tell us, in all their forms. This is what characterizes our national cinematography, which resonates and captivates audiences around the world. This exceptional year also demonstrates the growing interest of other countries to collaborate with Canada. It’s truly stimulating to see this openness of working together, strengthening our cultural and creative ties, and enriching our global film scene!”

With Xavier Dolan heading up the Un Certain Regard jury, dozens of producers and filmmakers descending on the Mediterranean to meet with potential collaborators and showcase projects in the market, there’s going to be loads of local faces going in and out of the palais. While I’ll be housed for the most part in darkened theatres, or sneaking out to grab some steak tartare and pain au chocolat to fuel my days , it’ll be nice to be able to help celebrate these many films that are being launched at this most prestigious of events.

Bon festival!