The Official Selection for the 68th Cannes Film Festival was announced in Paris this morning, with 44 of 54 titles being named. Big titles on the home front include the inclusion of Yorgos Lanthimos’ Irish set sci-fi-/comedy/drama/romance The Lobster playing in competition. The film stars Colin Farrell in the lead, alongside Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Léa Seydoux and John C. Reilly. Irish actors are also represented with the Michael Fassbender and Jack Reynor starring Macbeth and the Gabriel Byrne starring Louder Than Bombs also competing.

The inclusion of The Lobster in the competition selection marks the second year in a row (after Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall) and the seventh time overall that an Irish produced or co-produced feature film has competed at Cannes. Loach’s The Wind that Shakes the Barley is the only one that took home the prestigious Palme d’Or to date.

The Lobster faces some stiff competition in its quest to take top prize, with Todd Haynes’ Carol a strong favourite, as well as Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees. Canadian director Denis Villeneuve will also bring a strong presence, with Sicario marking the talented director’s first visit to Cannes.

The Lobster is an unconventional love story which follows a desperate man who breaks with the rules of the dystopian The City where single people are arrested and obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days at The Hotel. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods.

The film marks Lanthimos English-language debut, which the director has also co-written with longtime collaborator Efthimis Filippou. Producers are Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Yorgos Lanthimos. Executive Producers are Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross and Sam Lavender. The film was developed with financing from Film4, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board, Eurimages, the Netherlands Film Fund, Greek Film Centre and BFI, with Protagonist Pictures, with the participation of CANAL+, CINE+ and Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et du Développement International, Institut Français an Element Pictures, Scarlet Films, Faliro House, Haut et Court, Lemming Film co-production in association with Limp and with the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

The 68th Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 13th to 24th.

The full line-up is below. We expect to here about 4 more competition titles as well as a host of Director’s Fortnight inclusions in the coming weeks.

COMPETITION
The Assassin – Hou Hsiao Hsien
Carol – Todd Haynes
Dheepan (working title) – Jacques Audiard
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos
Louder Than Bombs – Joachim Trier
Macbeth – Justin Kurzel
Marguerite and Julien – Valerie Donzelli
Mia Madre – Nanni Moretti
Mon Roi – Maiwenn
Mountains May Depart – Jia Zhang-Ke
Our Little Sister – Hirokazu Kore-Eda
The Sea of Trees – Gus Van Sant
Sicario – Denis Villeneuve
A Simple Man – Stephane Brize
Son of Saul – Laszlo Nemes
The Tale of Tales – Matteo Garrone
Youth – Paolo Sorrentino

UN CERTAIN REGARD
The Chosen Ones – David Pablos
The Fourth Direction – Gurvinder Singh
Hruter (Rams) – Grimur Hakonarson
Je Suis Un Soldat (I Am a Soldier) – Laurent Larivere
Kishibe No Tabi (Journey to the Shore) – Kurosawa Kiyoshi
Madonna – Shin Suwon
Maryland – Anna Winocour
Masaan (Fly Away Solo) – Neeraj Ghaywan
Nahid – Ida Panahandeh
One Floor Below – Radu Muntean
The Other Side – Roberto Minervini
Shameless – Oh Seung-Uk
The Treasure – Corneliu Porumboiu
Zvizdan (The High Sun) – Dalibor Matanic

OUT OF COMPETITION
Inside Out – Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen
Irrational Man – Woody Allen
Mad Max: Fury Road, – George Miller
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) – Mark Osborne

SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Amnesia – Barbet Schroeder
Asphalte – Samuel Benchetrit
Hayored Lema’ala – Elad Keidan
Oka – Souleymane Cisse
Panama – Pavel Vuckovic
Sipur Al Ahava Ve Choshech (A Tale of Love and Darkness) – Nathalie Portman

MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS
Amy – Asif Kapadia
O Piseu (Office) – Hong Won-Chan

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