TEHRAN. (Iranart) - Two-time Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller Everybody Knows, starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz opened the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben) marks only the second Spanish-language film to open Cannes, following Pedro Almodovar’s Bad Education, which kicked off the festival in 2004. It is also one of the few openers in recent memory not in either English or French.
The Tuesday night choice clearly reflects the outlook of Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux, who has aimed in recent years at kicking off the festival with films that bring together a critically acclaimed auteur, including the likes of Asghar Farhadi, Wes Anderson and Arnaud Desplechin, with an attractive, glamorous cast.
Farhadi has previously fielded two films in competition on the Croisette, The Salesman in 2016 and The Past in 2013. Everybody Knows is his first film in the prestigious opening-night slot. Written by Farhadi, it follows the journey of Laura (played by Cruz), who travels with her family from Buenos Aires to her native village in Spain for a celebration. The family reunion gets disrupted by events that change the course of the characters’ lives.
Everybody Knows is produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Paris-based Memento Films Production and Alvaro Longoria of Spanish outfit Morena Films. Memento Films International is handling worldwide sales. The movie is being released by Memento in France today May 9 – one day after its red-carpet premiere in Cannes on Tuesday. UTA Independent Film Group is representing the rights to the sale of the film in North America along with Memento Films International.
The film is the third collaboration between Farhadi and Mallet-Guy after The Salesman and The Past, which Memento Films produced and distributed in France. The Salesman scooped two awards at Cannes – best script for Farhadi and best actor for Shahab Hosseini – before going on to win the Oscar for best foreign-language film. The Past earned Berenice Bejo a best actress award at Cannes.
Farhadi has lauded Cannes as “a place where people enthusiastically dialogue with each other about cinema and share memorable moments.”
He shot Everybody Knows in Torrelaguna, a small town north of Madrid. The film is entirely in Spanish, a language Farhadi does not speak but which Mallet-Guy said was no impediment.