Two Irish films make this year's Cannes slate


The key programmes for Cannes, which begins on May 11th, have all now been announced. The good news for the home industry is that two Irish productions have secured prominent spots.

Paolo Sorrentino’s This Must Be the Place, starring Sean Penn as an ageing rock star hunting a Nazi war criminal, will compete in the main competition. Rebecca Daly’s debut film, The Other Side of Sleep, a spooky thriller concerning a lifelong sleepwalker, will play in the semi-official Directors’ Fortnightstrand.

Much of the Sorrentino picture, supported by the Irish Film Board and co-produced by Element Films, was filmed on these shores. Daly’s film follows such Irish productions as Garageand Alicia Duffy’s All Good Childrenby appearing in the prestigious sidebar event. Daly becomes the first female Irish director to compete in the Caméra d’Or race for best first picture.

The main programme, comprising films competing for the Palme d’Or, is potentially much tastier than last year’s lacklustre line-up. Attendees can catch new films by the Dardennes, Nanni Moretti, Pedro Almodóvar, Aki Kaurismäki and Lars von Trier.

And then there’s Terrence Malick’s much-delayed The Tree of Life. To the puzzlement of many, the intriguing epic is currently due to open in the UK and Ireland on May 4th. It is not unheard-of for a competition film to open in a major territory before Cannes kicks off, but the strategy does remain pretty unorthodox. The picture will not arrive in the US until the end of May.