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The Imagine programmers are in the South of France for the 2024 edition of the Cannes Film Festival. These are their experiences on the Croisette.

The month of May is here and that means the most important film festival of Europe (and for Imagine) is back. The 77th Festival de Cannes starts this Tuesday!

We’ve written it often over the past few years: Fantastic film has made significant progress at Cannes, moving up from marginal Midnight Screenings to prominent slots in the Main Competition. This year’s edition of Cannes is no exception, and our programming team hardly has enough hours in the day to watch every genre film on offer. Cannes is truly a film cascade: in addition to the festival itself, there’s an extensive industry program, the Marché du Film, which is only accessible for distributors and programmers. New films that didn’t get selected or that are still in production or undistributed are shown here.

So, what’s on this year? Cannes 2024 kicks off with an old friend of Imagine, French absurdist Quentin Dupieux. His Le deuxième acte (The Second Act) is the official opening film and, as we’ve come to expect from Dupieux, the synopsis (a potential love triangle meets in a middle-of-nowhere diner) left us none the wiser. We’re ready to be surprised! The same applies to one of the most talked about films on the slate: Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis. A film that the two-time Oscar winner had to finance privately despite his track record. It has a trailer…and that’s about it. Looking forward to this one!

Also: Coralie Fargeat (whose awesome debut Revenge screened at Imagine 2018) managed to attract Demi Moore and Dennis Quaid for her new film The Substance, which has sparked our curiosity. David Cronenberg made a very personal film with The Shrouds, so we’re eager to see that too. And the list goes on: there’s Lorcan Finnegan’s The Surfer, Guy Maddin’s Rumours, Ryoo Seung-wan’s Veteran 2 and Soi Cheang’s Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In.

Then there are the countless films and makers that we haven’t heard of yet, but that we hope to discover and bring to our own festival later this year. We love the fact that we don’t know who or what we’ll find.

So, are we just sitting in the dark, eyes glued to the screen? Certainly not. Because Cannes is as much catching up with everyone and everything, and making new fantastic friends, as it is watching films.

On y va!

Chris Oosterom
Festival director