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Cannes Film Fest Un Certain Regard is gem that is treated as a poor Cinderella

Here are five Un Certain Regard films that should not be missed at the Cannes Film Festival, even if it means skipping a Competition feature.

The Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival is like a poor cousin who is frequently disregarded and treated as a doormat. We all know the Cinderella story, don’t we? But, like the impoverished girl in the fable, Un Certain Regard, a section that has frequently played second fiddle to Competition, has the rare power to emerge from the shadows and shine. (Also Read: At the Cannes Film Festival, drama develops even outside the movies).

In a recent interview, the Festival’s main man, Thierry Fremaux, stated that “the Un Certain Regard’s purpose was to bring out new trends, new paths, new countries of cinema.” It’s a selection that favors new filmmakers, particularly female directors, and foreshadows the rise of future generations.”We are looking for style, originality, narrative force, and conviction.”

The Guardian’s Chief Film Critic, Peter Bradshaw, stated that “Un Certain Regard was a game changer when it was founded in 1978 by Gilles Jacob, Frémaux’s predecessor.” It effectively doubled the size of the official Festival. Twenty extra titles in what is a very important sidebar — it’s treated very seriously — and with that sidebar, it posed a great challenge for the other festivals because, you know, other festivals who could have coveted those titles find them being hoovered up by Un Certain Regard.”

These movies represent the future of film. They are the forerunners of things to come. In recent years, several directors who have gained a solid foothold in Competition titles began their Cannes journey in the quiet lanes of Un Certain Regard, which translates as A Certain Look. These men and women took their first steps within the constraints of this category, which, away from the rush, bustle, shove, and push of everyone’s favorite and much sought for Competition, provides an excellent opportunity for introspection and, ultimately, glory.

Ten years before South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho won the top prize, the Palme d’Or, he astonished almost everyone with his Mother, a delicate story of mother-son bonds that verge on possessiveness.

Ruben Ostlund of Sweden, who won Palmes for The Square (2017) and Triangle of Sadness (2022), received the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize for Force Majeure in 2014.

Another perfect example is Xavier Dolan, the 35-year-old French Canadian director who serves as this year’s Un Certain Regard jury president. Un Certain Regard featured two of his works: Heartbeats (2010), created when Dolan was 21 years old, and Laurence Anyways (2012). His following two films, Mommy (2014) and It’s Only the End of the World (2016), earned top competition awards.

“I believe that what young filmmakers are presenting this year is very exciting, as you will see,” Frémaux said, possibly with pride.

Indeed, Un Certain Regard has evolved over time into a fantastic launchpad for poor Cinderellas to transform from the ugly duckling to the feathery finery of a lovely swan.

Here are five Un Certain Regard works that should not be missed, even if it means skipping a Competition title. When the Light Breaks by Runar Runarsson from Iceland; Norah by Saudi director Tawfik Alzaidi; September Says by Franco-Greek actress-turned-director Ariane Labed; Konstantin Bojanov’s The Shameless, a poignant Indian drama; and Santosh, an Indian police investigation story with Shahana Goswami in the title role.



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