Cannes 2021: The 2020 festival was canceled, but many of the five dozen films chosen by Cannes last year made a mark, and two won Oscars
By Steve Pond
Last year, Cannes announced a list of 62 new feature films as its official selection for 2020, a year in which the festival itself didn’t take place. Bearing the prestigious imprimatur of the festival, the movies (not separated into the usual sections, but given the other classifications used below) had a variety of releases. Here are some of the ones with the highest profiles since being singled out by Cannes.
“Downstream to Kinshasa,” Dieudo Hamadi
Premiered at TIFF 2020.
“The Truffle Hunters,” Gregory Kershaw and Michael Dweck
Premiered at Sundance 2020 prior to Cannes; made the Oscar shortlist in the Best Documentary Feature category; released in March 2021 by Sony Pictures Classics.
“Be Water,” Bao Nguyen
After premiering at Sundance in 2020, the Bruce Lee documentary aired as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.
“Belushi,” R.J. Cutler
Premiered in October 2020 at the Chicago International Film Festival in John Belushi’s hometown, then aired on Showtime in November.
Premiered at the Deauville Film Festival in September 2020, released by Netflix in the U.S. in December and in France in May.
“True Mothers,” Naomi Kawase
Screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020; submitted as Japan’s entry in the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category.
“Peninsula,” Yeon Sang-Ho
Released theatrically in South Korea in July 2020 and in the U.S. (as Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula) in August.
“Another Round,” Thomas Vinterberg
Premiered at TIFF, released by Samuel Goldwyn in the U.S., won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film.
“Forgotten We’ll Be”/”Memories of My Father,” Fernando Trueba
Released in August 2020, competed as Colombia’s entry for the international Oscar.
“Summer of 85,” François Ozon
Released in France in July 2020, screened at TIFF 2020, released in the U.S. in June 2021.
“The French Dispatch,” Wes Anderson
Originally scheduled to be released by Searchlight in fall 2020; that release was postponed, and the film will premiere at Cannes 2021.
“Lovers Rock” and “Mangrove,” Steve McQueen
Premiered at the New York Film Festival in September 2020, released by Amazon Prime in November, now in the running for Emmys as part of the Small Axe limited series.
“Ammonite,” Francis Lee
Premiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, released by Lionsgate in the U.S. In November.
“Here We Are,” Nir Bergman
Premiered in Toronto and received nine nominations for Israel’s Ophir Awards, including Best Feature Film.
“Love Affair(s),” Emmanuel Mouret
Released in France in September 2020 and went on to receive 13 Cesar nominations, winning one.
“Limbo,” Ben Sharrock
Premiered at the 2020 TIFF and was nominated for two BAFTA Awards and four British Independent Film Awards prior to its April 2021 U.S. release from Focus Features.
“Nadia, Butterfly,” Pascal Plante
A Canadian feature released in September, named to TIFF’s list of the year’s top 10 Canadian films and nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards.
“Beginning,” Déa Kulumbegashvili
Premiered at TIFF 2020 and became the Georgian entry to the Oscars.
“Broken Keys,” Jimmy Keyrouz
Submitted by Lebanon as its entry in the Oscar race.
“Memory House,” João Paulo Miranda Maria
Won the Roger Ebert Award for an emerging filmmaker at the 2020 Chicago International Film Festival in October 2020.
“Falling,” Viggo Mortensen
Prior to Cannes, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; released in the U.S. in February 2021.
“Gargarine,” Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh
Premiered in September 2020 at the Zurich Film Festival, nominated for European Discovery at the European Film Awards.
“John and the Hole,” Pascual Sisto
Premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival; scheduled to be released in August by IFC.
“Pleasure,” Ninja Thyberg
Premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it was picked up by A24 for U.S. distribution.
“Spring Blossom,” Suzanne Lindon
Screened at TIFF and the Angouleme Film Festival in 2020.
“My Donkey, My Lover and I,” Caroline Vignal
Released in France in September 2020 and nominated for eight Cesar Awards, with Laure Calamy winning Best Actress.
“Earwig and the Witch,” Gorō Miyazaki
Aired on TV in Japan in December 2020; released by GKids in February and on HBO Max shortly thereafter.
“Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Premiered at Sundance in January 2021, winning the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary section and landing a U.S. deal with Neon.
Premiered at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June 2020 and released theatrically in France in September.
“Soul,” Pete Docter
Premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2020; released on Disney+ on Dec. 25; won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.