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CANADIAN SPOTLIGHT AT CANNES: TWO FILMS IN THE 2019 LINEUP Hinly Wong - May 15, 2019

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival is about to be under way. The Croisette has released its list of film entries for this year’s competition, spotlighting the likes of Cannes veterans Pedro Almodovar and Ken Loach, in addition to the Dardenne Brothers, Jarmusch and Terrence Malik.

Previously, we at 72 Dragons Media took a look at some of Canada’s previous noteworthy submissions to its pool of films, but in anticipation of the upcoming French Riviera festival, it’s only fitting that we break down the Canadian films revealed to be debuting in the Cannes 2019 lineup.

Matthias and Maxime

It comes as no surprise that Quebec director and Cannes celebrity Xavier Dolan is returning this year with yet another feature premiere and candidate for the highly-coveted Palme d’Or. Shot in Montreal, Matthias and Maxime is a drama telling the story of two childhood best friends in their late 20s who find themselves in the midst of turmoil after being forced to kiss each other at a party for an amateur film.

Dolan is no stranger to the competition and has submitted several films to the festival in the past. In 2014, the 30-year-old director won the Jury Prize for his film Mommy, and subsequently the 2016 Grand Prix for his adaptation of Jean-Luc Lagarce’s It’s Only the End of the World. Only time will tell if Dolan will win once more at the 2019 Croisette.

La Femme de mon frère (A Brother’s Love)

In light of the recent criticism for Cannes’s alarmingly low female presence, this year sees an increase in their prominence, with a total of thirteen woman directors from across the globe participating in the each of the festival’s categories. Four female-directed documentaries have been submitted to the Canadian Showcase: Polina Teif’s Eulogy for the Dead Sea, Emilie Serri’s Damascus Dreams, Marlène Edoyan’s La mer entre nous and Isabelle Couture’s Finding Sally. One standout among this selection of films, however, is Quebec filmmaker Monia Chokri’s La Femme de mon frère (English: A Brother’s Love), nominated for both the Golden Camera and Un Certain Regard awards.

The drama, both written and directed by Chokri, stars Evelyn Brochu in a comedic yet gripping tale of a brother and sister whose close relationship is threatened when the former begins to fall in love. The nomination is significant for Chokri, as while she has had previous experience with Cannes as an actress, this will be her first red carpet as a director, stepping out of fellow filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s shadow.