First introduced in 1978 by festival president Gilles Jacob, the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival runs parallel to the main competition and provides an opportunity for a wider range of films including many from first time directors, as well as innovative and artistically daring works that would not fit the main programme.
This year's initial lineup was announced on April 19 and currently consists of 17 titles representing 16 countries. However, I expect that a few films will be added in the coming weeks to round the number to 20. There are four films from first time directors, and two from female directors.
English actor/director Tim Roth is the president of the 2012 Un Certain Regard Jury which will choose the award winners from this section.
Update April 30: Djeca, Gimme the Loot, and Renoir were added to the Line-up.
Read on for a full overview of the films in the 65th Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard section or see the Main Competition films:
Un Certain Regard FilmMiss Lovely
directed by Ashim Ahluwalia
This is the first feature film from Indian director Ashim Ahluwalia who has directed two previous documentaries. It's set in mid 1980's Bombay and follows two brothers who produce sleazy low budget horror films. It stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niharika Singh, and Anil George.
Un Certain Regard FilmLa Playa (The Beach)
directed by Juan Andrés Arango
This is the first film from Colombian director Juan Andrés Arango. A drama that follows a young Afro-Colombian boy searching for his lost younger brother in the streets of Bogota. It stars Luis Carlos Guevara, Jamés Solís, and Andrés Murillo.
Un Certain Regard FilmLes Chevaux De Dieu (God's Horses)
directed by Nabil Ayouch
This is the French/Moroccan/Tunisian director's sixth film. It's a drama centered on a young boy from a poor family, loosely inspired by the May 16, 2003 terrorist attacks in Morocco.
Un Certain Regard FilmDjeca
directed by Aida Begic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
This is the Sarajevo born director's fourth film, and the second to premiere at Cannes. She previously won the Critics Week Grand Prize for her 2008 film Snijeg (Snow). This latest film is centered around two orphans amidst the reconstruction efforts in present day Sarajevo.
Un Certain Regard Closing FilmRenoir
directed by Gilles Bourdos
This is the French director's fourth feature. A biopic set in 1915, following the famed Impressionist painter in his twilight years. It stars Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret, Michèle Gleizer, and Romane Bohringer.
Un Certain Regard FilmTrois Monde
directed by Catherine Corsini
One of only two female directors in this section. Corsini's 2001 film Replay was previously screened in the main competition. This is said to be a contemporary drama about guilt, justice, forgiveness, and redemption following an accident between three people whose paths should never have crossed. It stars Raphael Personnaz, Clotilde Hesme, and Arta Dobroshi (The Silence of Lorna).
Un Certain Regard FilmAntiviral
directed by Brandon Cronenberg
This is the debut feature from Brandon Cronenberg, son of the famous director David Cronenberg. A horror film about a clinic that harvests viruses from sick celebrities in order to sell them to obsessed fans. It stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, and Malcolm McDowell. Sounds very interesting.
Un Certain Regard Film7 Dias en la Habana (7 Days in Havana)
directed by Benicio Del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio, Gaspar Noé, Laurent Cantet
France, Spain, Cuba
A feature length portrait of Havana consisting of seven chapters, with each segment directed by a different filmmaker. It stars Daniel Brühl, Emir Kusturica, Elia Suleiman, Josh Hutcherson, Vladimir Cruz, Mirta Ibarra, and Jorge Perugorria.
Un Certain Regard FilmLe Grand Soir (The Big Night)
directed by Benoit Delépine, Gustave Kervern
This is the fifth feature from this directing duo. A comedy about two half brothers who go on a road trip in search of their father. It stars Benoît Poelvoorde, Albert Dupontel, Yolande Moreau, and Brigitte Fontaine.
Un Certain Regard FilmLaurence Anyways
directed by Xavier Dolan
Many expected this Canadian director's highly anticipated film to be selected in the main competition. His two previous films Heartbeats (Un Certain Regard) and I Killed My Mother (Director's Fortnight) also had their premieres at Cannes and he won the Prize of the Youth both times. This is the story of a man who confesses to his fiancée that he longs to become a woman, asking for her to support him in this transformation. It stars Nathalie Baye, Melvil Poupaud, Monia Chokri, and Yves Jacques.
Un Certain Regard FilmDespués de Lucia (After Lucia)
directed by Michel Franco
The director of the controversial 2009 film Daniel & Ana, follows it up with a drama about the relationship between a father and his teenage son after the death of his wife. It stars Tessa Norvind, Gonzalo Vega Jr., Tamara Yazbek, and Hernan Mendoza.
Un Certain Regard FilmAimer à perdre la raison (Loving Without Reason)
directed by Joachim Lafosse
France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland
This is the Belgian director's first time at Cannes. It's a drama about a troubled and complicated relationship starring Niels Arestrup, Tahar Rahim, and Émilie Dequenne (Rosetta, 1999 Best Actress).
Un Certain Regard FilmGimme the Loot
directed by Adam Leon
This is the American director's debut feature film. The story follows a rivalry between two gangs of graffiti artists in New York. It stars Ty Hickson, Zoë Lescaze, Joshua Rivera, and Tashiana Washington.
Un Certain Regard FilmStudent
directed by Darezhan Omirbayev
A Kazakhstani director who previously won the Un Certain Regard Prize in 1998 with his film Killer. This one will be an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
Un Certain Regard FilmLa Pirogue (The Canoe)
directed by Moussa Toure
The Senegalese director's fourth feature film. A drama about undocumented immigrants who attempt to paddle the 900 mile distance from Dakar to the Canary Islands.
Un Certain Regard FilmElefante Blanco (White Elephant)
directed by Pablo Trapero
The Argentinian director's second film in this year's selection tells the story of two friends from the Buenos Aires slums who choose different paths in their struggle against violence, corruption, and injustice. It stars Ricardo Darin, Jérémie Rénier, and Martina Gusman.
Un Certain Regard FilmConfession of a Child of the Century
directed by Sylvie Verheyde
The second female director in this section, French director Sylvie Verheyde (Stella), adapts the 1836 autobiographical novel by Alfred de Musset. It stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Pete Doherty, Lily Cole, August Diehl, and Volker Bruch.
Un Certain Regard Film11.25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate
directed by Koji Wakamatsu
This latest film from the prolific Japanese director is a biographical tale about the last days of right-wing nationalist Japanese author Yukio Mishima who attempted a coup in 1970 by taking a General hostage in the Ministry of Defense. It stars Arata Iura.
Un Certain Regard FilmMystery
directed by Lou Ye
This highly regarded Chinese director's last 3 titles all screened in competition at Cannes, but this time he is in the Un Certain Regard section with a crime drama about a businessman who leads a double life. It stars Hao Lei, Qin Hao, and Qi Xi.
Un Certain Regard FilmBeasts of the Southern Wild
directed by Benh Zeitlin
This is the American director's first feature film. It premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival winning the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Award. The fantasy drama film stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry.
Which of these films are you looking forward to the most?