The 65th Melbourne International Film Festival has just added an impressive selection of 30 new Cannes titles to this year's lineup.
These include the Australian premieres of some of the highest-profile films from the Croisette, such as Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman, Paul Verhoeven's Isabelle Huppert-starring rape revenge movie Elle, the Dardenne brothers' The Unknown Girl and Nicolas Winding Refn's fashion industry horror flick, The Neon Demon.
Melburnians will also get their first look at the Cannes films that played the recent Sydney Film Festival, including Kleber Mendonça Filho's Sydney Film Prize-winning Aquarius, Olivier Assayas' Kristen Stewart-starring Personal Shopper, Maren Ade's FIPRESCI prize-winning Toni Erdmann, Park Chan-wook's The Handmaiden, Pedro Almodovar's Julieta, Matt Ross's Captain Fantastic, Boo Junfeng's Apprentice, new Studio Ghibli production The Red Turtle, alongside a double helping of Jim Jarmusch with Paterson and Gimme Danger.
The announcement includes a number of new films from directors whose films have been previous MIFF highlights. Palme d'Or winning director Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, MIFF 2007) returns with Graduation, which scored him the Best Director award at Cannes (shared with Assayas for Personal Shopper). Bruno Dumont, director of MIFF 2014 highlight L'il Quinquin comes back to the festival with another whimsical farce Slack Bay, starring Juliette Binoche. Festival circuit enfant terrible Albert Serra (Story of My Death, MIFF 2014) also makes a comeback with The Death of Louis XIV, which stars French New Wave legend Jean-Pierre Léaud (the feature of a MIFF retrospective in 2014) as the dying monarch.
Some of the most critically acclaimed titles from this year's Cannes will also make a feature, including Romanian New Wave pioneer Cristi Puiu's Sieranevada and Stranger by the Lake director Alain Guiraudie's Staying Vertical.
Noticeably absent is Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winner, I, Daniel Blake which will release in Australia through Transmission Films in November this year. Also not on the list are Xavier Dolan's polarising It's Only the End of the World and Andrea Arnold's much anticipated Shia LaBeouf-starring American Honey.
The full program will be announced 5 July, with tickets on sale 8 July.
The Melbourne International Film Festival runs 28 July – 14 August.