Monia Chokri, to whom we also owe Babysitter, this time brings to the screen an original script that she signs alone. “It’s a Quebec Chokrian comedy,” said General Delegate Thierry Frémaux when the official selection was announced on Thursday.

“It’s not exactly a comedy, nuanced the filmmaker, joined a few hours after the announcement of his selection. I keep my style of writing, but there is still something more melancholy, in any case, less caustic. Maybe it’s more mature. That said, I’m very happy to be given an adjective to talk about my cinema! »

No particular trigger was at the source of Simple comme Sylvain, except the desire for an encounter between two different worlds, through a love story. Starring Magalie Lépine-Blondeau and Pierre-Yves Cardinal, the feature film chronicles the sentimental journey of a 40-year-old philosophy professor, who has been living quietly for 10 years in a relationship with a political science professor, despite having a sexual life. on the back burner that neither of them complains about. The life of this woman changes however the day when she meets Sylvain, an entrepreneur from the Laurentians at the antipodes of her way of life, with whom she will live a burning passion. Francis-William Rhéaume, Steve Laplante, Marie-Ginette Guay, Micheline Lanctôt and Christine Beaulieu are also part of the impressive cast.

“I wanted to see what happens when two beings from backgrounds that have nothing to do with each other suddenly love each other beyond measure. »

On Instagram, Monia Chokri wrote that she was delighted to live the Cannes adventure this time with Magalie Lépine-Blondeau, star of her film and also her greatest friend. “I thought of Magalie very quickly when writing, but I still had some apprehensions before offering her the role. I was a little worried that work would corrupt our friendship. However, the reverse happened. We understood each other so well that we didn’t need to talk to each other much. And Magalie is a very great actress at the base. »

Having already climbed the steps of the Palace as an actress and filmmaker, but also as a member of the short film jury, does Monia Chokri feel like she is getting used to the Cannes Film Festival?

” No, I do not think so. You don’t have to! That said, I was able to spend a week there last year with the short film jury and it is certain that the festival is then lived in a more serene way. Seems like having the opportunity to do several red carpets has relaxed me a lot compared to the whole machine, actually. But will I be on D-Day? We’ll see ! »

Stating that other films will be added to the selection by the opening night, May 16, Thierry Frémaux, accompanied by Iris Knobloch (first woman to hold the position of President of the Festival), also revealed Thursday the titles of the 52 feature films selected so far in its selection, 19 of which are in the running for the Palme d’or.

Jeanne du Barry, by Maïwenn (with Johnny Depp in her first role in French), will have the honor of launching, out of competition, the Cannes ball. Among the 19 feature films selected in the race for the most prestigious prize in world cinema, 6 come from the imagination of female directors. The Austrian Jessica Hausner (Club Zero with Mia Wasikowska), the French Justine Triet (Anatomy of a fall with Sandra Hüller and Swann Arlaud) and Catherine Breillat (Last summer with Léa Drucker and Olivier Rabourdin), the Italian Alice Rohrwacher (La chimera with Isabella Rossellini and Josh O’Connor), the Senegalese Ramata-Toulaye Sy (Banel e Adama is her first film) and the Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania (Les filles d’Olfa is a docudrama) will indeed try to succeed to Jane Campion (The Piano in 1993) and Julia Ducournau (Titane in 2021), so far the only two directors to have obtained the supreme honor.

Five former winners are also part of the competition. The Japanese Hirokazu Kore-eda (A family affair, winner in 2018) is back with Monster, the Italian Nanni Moretti (Palme d’or in 2001 with La chambre du fils) will offer Il sol dell’avvenire (Mathieu Amalric y gives the answer to the filmmaker), the Turkish Nuri Bilge Ceylan (awarded in 2014 thanks to Winter Sleep) will launch Dry herbs, the German Wim Wenders, whose Paris, Texas had obtained the Palme in 1984, returns to service with Perfect Days (Wenders will also present The Noise of Time, Anselm Kiefer in a special screening), without forgetting Ken Loach with The Old Oak. The British veteran, winner in 2006 thanks to The Wind that Shakes the Barley, as well as in 2016 thanks to I, Daniel Blake, could mark history by becoming the very first filmmaker to obtain the Palme d’or a third time.

This “renewed selection punctuated by great authors”, as described by the general delegate, also offers in its competition new films by big names such as Wes Anderson (Asteroid City with Jason Schwartzman and Scarlett Johansson), Marco Bellochio (Rapito), Todd Haynes (May December with Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore), Aki Kaurismäki (Fallen Leaves) and Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest). It is also full of expected primeurs, presented out of competition.

To the major events already announced – Killers of the Flower Moon, by Martin Scorsese (which Thierry Frémaux still hopes to integrate into the competition), and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, by James Mangold – are added in particular new productions by Sam Levinson (The Idol with Lily Rose-Depp and The Weeknd), Katell Quillévéré (Le temps d’aimer with Anaïs Demoustier and Vincent Lacoste), Takeshi Kitano (Kubi), Steve McQueen (Occupied City, a documentary about Amsterdam at the time of the Second World War), Kleber Mendonça Filho (Ghost Portraits), without forgetting Pedro Almodóvar with Strange Way of Life, a short film he shot with Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke.

The selections for the Quinzaine des cinéastes and La Semaine de la critique, the two parallel sections, will be announced in the coming days.