Cannes Critics’ Week, the parallel film festival sidebar organized by the French Film Critics’ Union, has unveiled its line-up for its 63rd edition, which runs from May 15 to 23. The traditionally compact parallel selection will showcase 11 features, seven in competition, and 13 short films selected from 1,050 features and 2,150 short films. The sidebar dedicated to the first and second films will open with Jonathan Millet’s psychological thriller Ghost Trail and wrap with Emma Benestan’s genre film Animale.

The List and Details of Cannes Critics’ Week

French auteur Jonathan Millet’s psychological manhunt thriller Ghost Trail (Les Fantômes) will open the section. It marks his feature debut after half a dozen shorts, including Tell Me About The Stars. Inspired by real-life events, it tells the story of a Syrian man pursuing some of the people who perpetrated horrors in the name of the regime during the civil war. Critics’ Week’s artistic director, Ava Cahen, described the movie “as a thrilling sensory film… that overhauls the canons of spy movies.”

Meanwhile, the only U.S. film chosen is Blue Sun Palace by Constance Tsang. It’s a bittersweet tale about two Chinese immigrants residing in Queens who form a bond following a tragic loss and find solace in each other’s company. According to Cahen, the film is, “As humble and dignified as its characters, this first, realistic and intimate, film sheds light on a community that is little seen.” The film features Lee Kang-sheng, who recently appeared in Twisted Strings.

The next film on the list is Across the Sea, a melodrama set in the ’90s and boasting a score of Raï music, depicts 10 years in the life of a clandestine Moroccan immigrant in Marseille.

The film stars Grégoire Colin, Anna Mouglalis, and rising actor Ayoub Gretaa. Meanwhile, Queens of Drama is a pop, queer musical comedy following an influencer who falls for a punk singer from the 2000s. Cahen described the film as a “glittery, vibrant love letter to cinema and its history, its styles and genres.

Animale, starring Oulaya Amamra, is a feminist genre film that Cahen describes as a “crossroads between Western, slasher, body horror, and revenge film, in the heart of the Camargue.”

The other films set to world premiere at Critics’ Week include the romantic genre film Locust, which marks the feature debut of Taiwanese multidisciplinary artist KEFF; Leonardo Van Dijl’s Julie Keeps Quiet; Argentinian director Federico Luis’s Simon of the Mountain; Brazilian director Marcelo Caetano’s Baby; Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir’s The Brink of Dreams and French director Antoine Chevrollier’s Block Pass.

The top prize at the Critics’ Week in 2023 went to Tiger Stripes, a body horror/coming-of-age genre mashup from first-time Malaysian director Amanda Nell Eu.

The 2024 Critics’ Week Lineup


  • Baby | Marcelo Caetano
  • Blue Sun Palace | Constance Tsang
  • Julie Keeps Quiet | Leonardo Van Dijl
  • Locust | KEFF
  • Block Pass | Antoine Chevrollier
  • The Brink of Dreams | Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir
  • Simon of the Mountain | Federico Luis

Special Sessions

  • Ghost Trail | Jonathan Millet (Opening Film)
  • Across the Sea | Said Hamich Benlarbi
  • Queens of Drama | Alexis Langlois
  • Animale | Emma Benestan (Closing Film)

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