2021 Cannes Film Festival Highlights

2021 Cannes Film Festival Highlights

Cannes Film Festival returns in full force for 2021, set to take place July 6th through the 17th in Cannes, France. Known as the International Film Festival until 2003, Cannes is an annual cinema showcase highlighting upcoming films and documentaries from around the globe. The event was first founded in 1946, and was officially recognized by the Federation of International Film Producers Associations in 1951.

Cannes is considered one of the “Big Three” European film festivals, among the ranks of Italy’s Venice Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany.

While the logistics of this year’s event are still unclear, the lineup is jam-packed with a combination of new releases and delayed films which carried over from 2020. Read on to discover some of this year’s festival highlights.


Directed by Valerie Lemercier, Aline is a cinematic love letter to the famous musician, Celine Dion. While the film’s characters and events are fictional, they draw direct inspiration from the life and achievements of Dion and her music. The film’s official synopsis reads as follows:

“Quebec, the 60s. Sylvette and Anglomard welcome their 14th child, Aline. In this modest family, music is king. When a producer discovers Aline and her golden voice, he has only one idea in mind: to make her the greatest singer in the world. Supported by her family, guided by Guy-Claude’s experience and budding love for her, Aline will create an extraordinary destiny for herself.”


Annette is a musical feature and the English-language debut of Leos Carax. The film follows a pair of renowned performers and their daughter Annette, who Is born with a unique gift that turns their lives upside down.

Originally announced in 2016, the film’s production concluded in 2020, but release was delayed until 2021 due to theater closures worldwide. The film will be released on July 6th in France, the same day as its premiere at Cannes.


Benedetta is a French/Dutch biographical drama pic written and directed by Paul Verhoeven. The film tells the story of Benedetta Carlini: a young nun in a 17th century Italian convent. Based on the 1986 book entitled Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun, the film was originally slated to hold its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, but was postponed due to delays from an actor’s injuries. The release was delayed again to 2021, following the Cannes Festival’s cancellation in the wake of the global pandemic.

Bergman Island

Bergman Island is the newest film from writer an director Mia Hansen-Love, internationally co-produced and starring Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Waikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie. The story follows a couple who travel to the island where Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman was inspired to produce many of his own works.

As the couple sets out to follow in Bergman’s footsteps, the line between fiction and reality wears thin. The film will hold its world premiere at Cannes on July 11th, followed by the official theatrical release in France on July 14th.


“An endeavour to consider cows…to see both their beauty and the challenge of their lives.” This is the goal of Cow according to its creator Andrea Arnold. The film is produced by Kat Mansoor and Halcyon Pictures, following the daily life of a single dairy cow and the industries that rely on them. The film is set to hold its world premiere at Cannes, and has been picked up by global streaming service MUBI for international distribution.

The French Dispatch

Titled The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun is an American comedy-drama flick directed by Wes Anderson. The plot, co-written by Anderson, Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness and Jason Scwartzman, follows a trio of storylines involving

a fictional Kansas newspaper as it creates its final issue. Critics describe the film as a “love letter to journalists”, drawing inspiration from Anderson’s love of The New Yorker publication. In an interview with French outlet Charente Libre in April of 2019, Anderson stated:

The story is not easy to explain. [It’s about an] American journalist based in France who creates his magazine. It is more of a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. It’s not a move about freedom of the press, but when you talk about reporters, you also talk about what’s going on in the real world.”

The French Dispatch will hold its world premiere at this year’s Cannes Festival on July 6th, with a North American release scheduled for October 22nd 2021.

Red Rocket

Directed by Sean Baker with a screenplay by Baker and Chris Bergoch, Red Rocket tells the story of Mikey Saber: a former adult film star returning to his small, Texan hometown. The film is produced by A24 and Film Nation Entertainment, starring Simon Rex, Bree Elrod and Suzanna Son. Red Rocket will hold its world premiere at Cannes on July 14th.


Titane is a French-Belgian drama thrilled directed and written by Julia Ducornau, starring Vincent London and Garance Marillier. Ducournau’s debut feature Raw left quit the impression on viewers at its Cannes premiere in 2016, and her newest film promises to do the same. The film follows a father who reunited with his son who has been missing for ten years, following a series of unexplained crimes. Titane will hold its world premiere on July 13th at Cannes Festival, premiering theatrically in France on July 14th.


Stay tuned to Alamo Pictures for additional Cannes Film Festival updates.