After weeks of speculation, the official selection for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival was unveiled today, in a press conference with Festival director Thierry Fremaux, and President of the Festival, Pierre Lescure. Sadly, Jim Sheridan’s ‘The Secret Scripture’ did not make its way into the Festival – meaning no Irish representation this year – but the programme is varied, engaging and promises to be a great one… As usual. Plenty of familiar names return to the Festival, including Woody Allen, Nicolas Winding Refn, Ken Loach, Xavier Dolan and Cristian Mungiu, and they are joined by Pedro Almodovar, Paul Verhoven and Sean Penn.

The Festival will be opened by Woody Allen’s ‘Café Society’, which screens Out of Competition, and the films selected In Competition are as follows;
‘Toni Erdmann’ – Maren Ade
‘Julieta’ – Pedro Almodovar
‘American Honey’ – Andrea Arnold
‘Personal Shopper’ – Olivier Assayas
‘La Fille Inconnue’ – Jean Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
‘It’s Only the End of the World’ – Xavier Dolan
‘Slack Bay’ – Bruno Dumony
‘Mal De Pierres’ – Nicole Garcia
‘Rester Vertial’ – Alain Guiraude
‘Paterson’ – Jim Jarmusch
‘Aquarius’ – Kleber Filho Mendoca
‘I, Daniel Blake’ – Ken Loach
‘Ma’Rosa’ – Brillante Mendoza
‘Bacalaureat’ – Cristian Mungiu
‘Loving’ – Jeff Nichols
‘The Handmaiden’ – Chan-Wook Park
‘The Last Face’ – Sean Penn
‘Sieranevada’ – Cristi Puiu
‘Elle’ – Paul Verhoven
‘The Neon Demon’ – Nicolas Winding Refn

The Un Certain Regard section of the Festival – which runs concurrently with main Competition – also announced its selection for this year, and includes seven films from first time directors from around the world, including USA, Romanian and Argentinean films. The full selection is below…
‘Inversion’ – Behnam Behzadi
‘Apprentice’ – Junfeng Boo
‘The Stopover’ – Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin
‘The Dancer’ – Stéphanie Di Giusto
‘Clash’ – Mohamed Diab
‘Red Turtle’ – Michael Dudok De Wit
‘Harmonium’ – Kôji Fukada
‘Personal Affairs’ – Maha Haj
‘Beyond the Mountains and Hills’ – Eran Kolirin
‘After the Storm’ – Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan)
‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki’ – Juho Kuosmanen
‘Fransisco Sanctis’s Long Night’ – Francisco Marquez, Andrea Testa
‘Dogs’ – Bogdan Mirica
‘Pericle Il Nero’ – Stefano Mordini
‘The Transfiguration’ – Michael O’Shea
‘Captain Fantastic’ – Matt Ross
‘The Student’ – Kirill Serebrennikov

As well as all of these, Steven Speilberg’s ‘The BFG’, Jodie Foster’s ‘Money Monster’ and Shane Black’s ‘The Nice Guys’ were all selected to screen Out of Competition. What a year!

The Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 11-22nd, and will be on hand to bring you all he news, reviews and interviews from the glittering festival.