Cannes Critics’ Week Unveils Its Complete Lineup

Cannes Critic's Week Lineup

In the 2023 edition of the Cannes Critics’ Week, we observe an emphasis on debut and sophomore films from up-and-coming filmmakers, which will be presided over by “Happening” director Audrey Diwan. The French Syndicate of Cinema Critics has announced its pick of 11 films for the year 2023, comprising seven competitive titles and four special screenings, as part of Cannes Critics’ Week. The section focuses on the first and second features of emerging directors. The 62nd edition runs alongside the main Cannes festival from May 17-25.

Two Asian horror films are in this year’s competitive line-up: Tiger Stripes from Malaysian director Amanda Eu and the Korean horror film Sleep (Jam) from first-time director and former Bong Joon-Ho assistant Jason Yu. In the former, Lee Sun-Kyun from Parasite and Jung Yu-mi from Train to Busan play newlyweds whose lives spiral into terror as a result of the husband’s odd sleeping behavior. Tiger Stripes is a coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old girl whose body begins to alter in unexpected and horrifying ways as she reaches puberty. It is based on Southeast Asian folklore.

Power Alley (Levante), the competition entry from Brazilian director Lillah Halla, is about an aspiring teenage volleyball champion who learns she is pregnant and runs afoul of Brazil’s abortion ban in her attempts to seek an illegal termination. Power Alley is about physical changes of a different kind. With the help of the Critics’ Week Next Step initiative, a programme meant to assist filmmakers in making the transition from their first films to their first features, Halla, whose short film, Menarca, debuted in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2020, created Power Alley.

With Inshallah A Boy, Amjad Al Rasheed makes history as the first Jordanian director to participate in Critics’ Week. The drama, in which Palestinian actress Mouna Hawa (A House In Jerusalem) plays a leading role, explores Jordan’s sexist inheritance rules through the narrative of a woman battling for her financial independence and survival after the passing of her husband. Al Rasheed made a name for himself with the critically acclaimed short film The Parrot, which he co-directed with Darin J. Sallam. This is his first feature film.

The French psychological thriller Le Ravissement, directed by Iris Kaltenbäck, is also in the Critics Week competition this year. In it, Hafsia Herzi plays a lady who kidnaps her friend’s newborn child to start a new life with a previous lover. Both the Belgian drama Il Pleut Dans La Maison, directed by Paloma Sermon-Da, and the Serbian drama Lost Country, helmed by Vladimir Peri, is set against the backdrop of the 1996 student protests in Belgrade against the attempted election fraud by the country’s then-President Slobodan Milosevic. Perii made an appearance with Ordinary People in Critics’ Week in 2009.

Critics’ Week’s creative director Ava Cahen, who is now in her second year in the position, made a big impression with her inaugural season, which featured blockbuster hits including Charlotte Wells’ Oscar-nominated Aftersun, Cristèle Alves Meira’s Portuguese film Alma Viva, and Andrés Ramrez Pulido’s Colombian drama piece La Jauria. A scene from Aftersun is depicted on the Critics’ Week poster for this year.

Ama Gloria by Marie Amachoukeli, a drama about a six-year-old motherless girl and her nanny, will open the 2023 Critics’ Week section in a special screening. Erwan Le Duc’s No Love Lost, starring 120 BPM actor Nahuel Perez Biscayart as a single father caring for a daughter (Céleste Brunnquell), will close the section. Vincent Must Die, a zombie film by Stéphan Castang, and The (Exp)erience of Love, a romantic comedy by Belgian directors Ann Sirot and Raphael Balboni, about a couple trying to conceive who decide to sleep with their ex-partners, are both receiving special screenings this year.

The jury for this year’s Critics’ Week will be led by Audrey Diwan, whose French abortion drama Happening won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2021, as well as German actor Franz Rogowski, Sundance programmer Kim Yutani, Portuguese director of photography Rui Poças, and Indian journalist Meenakshi Shedde.

The Full List of the 2023 Critics’ Week line-up is as follows below


Power Alley (Levante), Lillah Halla

Il Pleut Dans La Maison, Paloma Sermon-Daï

Inshallah A Boy, Amjad Al Rasheed

Sleep (Jam), Jason Yu

Lost Country, Vladimir Perisič

Le Ravissement, Iris Kaltenbäck

Tiger Stripes, Amanda Nell Eu


Opening Film — Ama Gloria, Maria Amachoukeli

The (Exp)erience Of Love, Ann Sirot & Raphaël Balboni

Vincent Must Die, Stéphan Castang

Closing Film — No Love Lost, Erwan Le Duc

Anushka Rao

A storyteller and painter, Anushka is still looking for a silver lining in any situation and figuring out how innovative she can be to make the world a better place. She is charisma and mystery with a spark of genius. A true believer that film is this generation's strongest power yet, for change.