Ukrainian documentarian Sergei Loznitsa and Russian arthouse favourite Andrey Zvyagintsev will both premiere new features in the Offical Competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which runs from 17-28 May.
Loznitsa, who has received accolades in recent years for his documentaries Maidan (2014) and Austerlitz (2016), is making a return to fiction with A Gentle Creature, an adaptation of a Dostoevsky short story set in the present day. Zvyaginstev’s last film was the controversial 2014 drama Leviathan, which premiered at that year’s Cannes before winning the main prize at the London Film Festival and receiving a 2015 Oscar nomination for best Picture in a Foreign Language. He returns to the French Riviera this year with Loveless, the story of an acrimonious divorce and its aftermath. Zvyangintsev made the film without state support after Leviathan drew criticism from Russian officials for its depiction of provincial corruption.
Also representing the New East in the Official Competition will be Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, with his refugee drama Jupiter’s Moon. Mundruczó made his name with his previous feature, White God, which won in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 edition of Cannes.
This year’s Un Certain Regard strand will feature three New East directors: Russian Kantemir Balagov (Closeness), Bulgarian Stephan Komandarev (Directions), and Slovakian newcomer György Kristóf (Out).
Romanian New Wave maestro Cristian Mungiu, who won the Palme d’Or in 2007 for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, will lead the jury for the student and short films category.