Learn French with a useful Guide to Cannes Film Schedule for 2024 (Part I)

Cannes Film Festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Cannes Film Festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Cannes Film Festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

If you plan on going to the Cannes Film Festival 2024, or just on following its highlights from the U.S., in both cases this guide to the Cannes Film Festival 2024 will come in handy (You can also read the Festival de Cannes 2024 Guide Part II).  It will give you a good understanding of the schedule for the first part of the festival and help you practice useful French expressions that will help you make the most of this year's edition on La Croisette...


...[Click "Lire la suite" to read more]
Copyright for the main image of this article:
Cannes Film Festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

If you plan on going to the Cannes Film Festival 2024, or just on following its highlights from the U.S., in both cases this guide to the Cannes Film Festival 2024 will come in handy.  It will give you a good understanding of the schedule for the first part of the festival and help you practice useful French expressions that will help you make the most of this year's edition on La Croisette.

Celebrate the Festival de Cannes 2024 with TV5MONDE USA! This May, immerse yourself in the captivating world of French cinema without leaving the comfort of your home. TV5MONDE offers a special curated selection of films from the Cannes Festival on TV5MONDE and the on-demand service, TV5MONDE Cinema On Demand, included with your TV5MONDE subscription in most markets. Watch an exclusive selection of critically acclaimed and never-before-seen French films directly to your screen as part of your subscription. Learn French by discovering the magic of French Cinema at the Cannes Film Festival.

Playing in May, the month of the Cannes Film Festival, and beyond, on TV5MONDE Cinema On Demand:

  • La dérive des continents: A hidden gem from the Festival de Cannes Quinzaine des réalisateurs 2022, making its unprecedented debut.
  • Bruno Reidal: Witness the gripping narrative from the Festival de Cannes 2021 Semaine de la Critique, making its premiere.
  • Les héroïques:  Director Maxime Roy's first feature film depicting the everyday struggles of society. Festival de Cannes 2021, hors compétition

Playing in May and beyond on TV5 Monde USA and on the TV5MondePlus streaming platform:

  • Freda (2021)

    Discover the resilience of a family in Haiti in Freda. Watch it on May 19th at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA.

Freda at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Watch Freda on TV5 Monde USA


  • Mon légionnaire (2021)

Follow a young woman's journey in Mon légionnaire, starring Camille Cottin and Louis Garrel. Airing May 12th at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA and streaming from May 8th on TV5MONDEplus.

Mon Légionnaire at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Stream Mon légionnaire on TV5MONDEplus 


  • Une aussi longue absence (1960)

Experience the Palme d'Or winning classic Une aussi longue absence, airing May 28th at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA. Also available on TV5MONDEplus.

Une Aussi Longue Absence at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Stream Une aussi longue absence on TV5MONDEplus


  • Dans Paris (2006)

Dive into the emotional depths of Dans Paris, airing May 16th at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA. Stream it now on TV5MONDEplus.

Dans Paris  at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Stream Dans Paris on TV5MONDEplus


  • Je veux voir (2008)

Join Catherine Deneuve in Je veux voir, exploring Lebanon post-conflict. Airing May 21st at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA and streaming from May 8th on TV5MONDEplus.

Je Veux Voir at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Stream Je veux voir on TV5MONDEplus


  • En Ville (2011)

Explore the complex relationship dynamics in En Ville. Airing May 7th at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA.

En Ville  at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Watch En Ville on TV5 Monde USA


  • Viva Varda (2019)

Celebrate the life and work of Agnès Varda with Viva Varda. Airing May 22nd at 8:30pm ET on TV5 Monde USA and available on TV5MONDEplus.

Viva Varda at the Festival de Cannes © 1-3 production companies

Stream Viva Varda on TV5MONDEplus

Subscribe now to TV5 Monde USA and transform your May into a celebration of French cinema at its finest. Embrace this opportunity to learn French through its strong cinematic culture. 

Scheduled to light up the French Riviera in 2024, this guide aims not only to enhance your French vocabulary and idiomatic expressions but also to navigate you through the festival's not-to-be-missed highlights, ensuring you make the most of your time on La Croisette and at the Palais du Festival.

The Opening Ceremony of The Cannes Film Festival 2024 (May 14th, Palais des Festivals et des Congrès )

Cannes Film Festival 2024 ignites the cinematic world starting May 14, with the iconic Palais des Festivals et des Congrès hosting the grand opening. This year, Greta Gerwig, celebrated for her directorial triumph with *Barbie*, presides over the jury, marking a memorable inception to the festivities. Cannes, a melting pot of culture, cinema, and glamour, offers unparalleled opportunities for French language immersion amidst the festival's splendor. "C'est le grand jour!" (It's the big day!) attendees might exclaim, encapsulating the palpable excitement.

Navigating Cannes transforms into an adventurous learning journey. Exploring La Croisette is certainly a chance to enhance your French. Queries like "Quel est le meilleur moyen de se rendre au Palais des Festivals depuis ici?" (What's the best way to get to Palais des Festivals from here?) now become real-life French learning opportunities.

Screenings, the festival's core, blend glitz with artistic excellence. Opportunities to watch films at venues such as the Cinéma de la Plage, alongside discussions with phrases like "Quel film est projeté sur la plage ce soir?" (Which film is being screened on the beach tonight?), enrich the Cannes experience. Engaging with the festival's multifaceted schedule, participants don't just witness cinematic artistry but immerse themselves in a vibrant cultural and linguistic setting.

Premieres and Screenings (May 16th to May 18th) -- Part I

May 16th

  • 14:00 - L'Amour Fou by Jacques Rivette, a Cannes Classic at Debussy Theatre. This Cannes Classic invites viewers into a deep exploration of relationships and artistic obsession. It's a perfect occasion for French learners to immerse themselves in film culture with expressions like "Quelle complexité émotionnelle!" reflecting the film's emotional depth. Other fitting phrases might include "Une exploration de l'âme artistique," highlighting the artistic soul's journey, and "Le cinéma comme art," affirming cinema's role as a form of art.


  • 19:00 & 23:30 - Jeanne du Barry by Maïwenn, screened out of competition at Grand Théâtre Lumière. The movie is a historical drama featuring the renowned French director and actress in both roles. The film delves into the life of Jeanne du Barry, a notable figure in French history known for her rise from modest beginnings to becoming King Louis XV's last official mistress. Maïwenn's portrayal and the film's narrative aim to provide a deep, nuanced exploration of Jeanne du Barry's complex character, her relationships, and her impact on the French court, offering viewers a blend of historical richness and emotional depth. "C'est un film d'une richesse historique admirable" is an expression that highlights the historical depth of the movie.


  • 21:30 - Emir Kusturica's Underground, another Cannes Classic, this time at Plage Macé.  Underground is an acclaimed film that dives into the complex social and political landscape of Yugoslavia from World War II through the Yugoslav Wars. Known for its dark humor, surreal storytelling, and richly detailed narrative, the film explores themes of friendship, betrayal, and the absurdity of war. Kusturica's masterpiece won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, celebrated for its originality, audacious direction, and the way it captures the tragicomedy of its historical context."Un chef-d'œuvre intemporel!" might capture your awe at a timeless masterpiece.


May 17th

  • 09:00 & 12:00 - Jeanne du Barry by Maïwenn, showcasing again at Grand Théâtre Lumière, perfect for saying, "Une performance qui touche le cœur," expressing how the performance touches the heart.  You can find more details on this movie in the May 16th section above.


  • 10:00 - Occupied City by Steve McQueen in Special Screenings at Debussy Theatre. A moment to reflect, "Un récit puissant et provocateur," acknowledging the powerful and provocative storytelling. Steve McQueen's documentary "Occupied City" provides a profound exploration of Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, uniquely charting the city's history without archival footage. Instead, McQueen uses contemporary visuals of Amsterdam, paired with narration and soundscapes, to recount the Jewish community's experiences street by street. This innovative approach offers a powerful juxtaposition of past and present, evoking the presence of history in everyday locations. The film, inspired by Bianca Stigter’s "Atlas of an Occupied City," delves into stories of struggle, survival, and the omnipresent past in the modern city.


  • 15:00 - Pedro Almodóvar's Extraña Forma de Vida in Special Screenings at Debussy Theatre, inviting comments like, "Almodóvar capture l'essence de l'émotion," on capturing the essence of emotion. Pedro Almodóvar's "Strange Way of Life" is a vivid English-language short film, portraying a deeply intense love affair between two cowboys, set against the backdrop of the American Southwest. Starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, the film explores themes of love, memory, and societal expectations through their reunion in Bitter Creek. With passionate performances and Almodóvar's signature aesthetic flair, it offers a fresh take on the Western genre, focusing on the complexities of a hidden relationship. This work further demonstrates Almodóvar's knack for blending sensuality, emotional depth, and visual storytelling.


  • 21:30 - Le Sens de la Fête by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache at Plage Macé, offering a chance to celebrate, "Une joie de vivre contagieuse," for its contagious joy of living.  It's a vibrant comedy that dives into the chaos and humor behind the scenes of a lavish wedding. The film cleverly juxtaposes the meticulous planning with the event's inevitable mishaps, offering a humorous look at the complexities of human relationships and the essence of what truly makes a celebration memorable. Through a series of engaging characters and scenarios, it captures the spirit of joy and the unpredictable nature of life's big moments.


May 18th

  • 08:30 - Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, in competition at Agnès Varda Theatre. A poignant narrative inviting the phrase, "Une histoire qui résonne profondément," for its deeply resonant story. Le Retour is a nuanced drama exploring family dynamics, cultural identity, and the complexities of sisterhood against a Corsican backdrop. It juxtaposes the contrasting personalities of two sisters, Farah and Jessica, with their mother Khedidja, as they navigate personal and communal spaces while confronting their Corsican heritage and societal expectations. The film delves into themes of adolescence, sexual awakening, and the longing for belonging, showcasing Corsini's signature style of blending emotional depth with critical social commentary.


  • 08:30 - Le Règne Animal by Thomas Cailley, in Un Certain Regard at Debussy Theatre. This screening offers a moment to say, "Une exploration captivante de la nature humaine," reflecting on the captivating exploration of human nature.  It is a narrative set in a world similar to ours, where humans undergo mutations to become hybrids with other species, focusing on a father and his son navigating their lives amidst these changes and societal reactions. The story highlights themes of diversity, acceptance, and the impact of natural events on society, portrayed through the lens of a family's experience.


  • 08:30 - Kaibutsu (Monster) by Kore-eda Hirokazu, competing at Grand Théâtre Lumière. A film that may prompt the comment, "Une œuvre émouvante et puissante," highlighting its moving and powerful presentation. Hirokazu Kore-eda's Monster unfolds in three parts, focusing on different perspectives within a troubled family and a community gripped by mystery and prejudice. The film meticulously unravels misunderstandings and societal judgments, centering on the complex relationships between a mother, her son, and his teacher, amidst broader themes of bullying and the challenges of communication. Kore-eda’s storytelling, rich in emotional depth and character development, culminates in a powerful exploration of friendship and identity, offering a profound commentary on human nature and societal norms.


  • 10:00 - Maïwenn's Jeanne du Barry out of competition at Cineum Imax. This offers an opportunity to marvel, "Une performance qui captive l'audience," as the performance captivates the audience.  More details on this movie are available in the sections above dedicated to May 16th and May 17th.


  • 21:30 - Badlands by Terrence Malick at Cinéma de la Plage, Plage Macé. A classic to be enjoyed under the stars, where one might say, "Un classique intemporel magnifiquement réalisé," admiring its beautifully executed timeless story. Terrence Malick's "Badlands" explores the eerie detachment of its protagonists, Kit and Holly, from society and each other, despite their intense actions. Their journey, marked by violence and a superficial romance, mirrors broader themes of societal alienation and the objectification of people and emotions. The film stands out for its serene approach and technical prowess, distinct from other 1970s American cinema, hinting at Malick's philosophical influences without delving deep into the characters' psyches, making it a notable yet peculiar debut.


  • 22:30 - Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire and starring Tye Sheridan, in competition at Grand Théâtre Lumière. A challenging narrative that could lead to discussions with, "Un film qui défie les conventions," as it challenges conventions. This film delves into the gritty reality of NYC paramedics. Sauvaire's research involved shadowing EMTs, capturing the chaos and heroism of their work. The film, based on Shannon Burke’s novel, follows young paramedic Ollie Cross (Sheridan) and his mentor (Sean Penn) as they navigate the city's emergencies. It aims to present a raw look at the healthcare crisis and the emotional toll on first responders, offering an authentic portrayal of New York rarely seen on screen.


Watch out for more on the Cannes Film Festival 2024 in Part II of this article coming up soon.


La Cérémonie de la Palme d'Or (Saturday, May 25th 2024)

The 77th Palme d'Or Ceremony, set for May 25th, 2024, marks the zenith of the Cannes Film Festival. More than a mere award ceremony, it's the "crème de la crème" (the best of the best) of the global cinema scene. As the day draws near, Cannes buzzes with excitement, pulsating with the question, "Qui remportera la palme?" (Who will win the Palme?). This query fuels every conversation, creating a blend of speculation and feverish anticipation.

This moment is when cinema transcends its art to become the beating heart of global culture, uniting enthusiasts in shared anticipation. In this electric atmosphere, the Palme d'Or Ceremony is not just an award; it's a beacon of cinematic excellence, celebrated with "joie de vivre" (joy of living) and passion that's quintessentially French. For those wandering "La Croisette" - the festival's iconic boulevard - the air is thick with "l’art de vivre" (the art of living), a testament to the enduring allure and prestige of the Cannes Film Festival.


French Culture and Language at the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is not just a showcase of global cinematic brilliance; it's a golden gateway to the rich tapestry of French culture and the elegance of its language. Each screening, panel discussion, and serendipitous encounter along La Croisette offers a live canvas to practice and polish your French, embedding you deeper into the art of cinema and the nuances of its original language. From absorbing the emotional depth of a French drama to engaging in lively discussions with fellow cinephiles, the festival turns the French Riviera into an immersive classroom of global storytelling and linguistic finesse.


Embrace the Essence of French Cinema with TV5MONDE USA

Immerse yourself in the heart of French cinema without ever leaving your living room. TV5MONDE USA brings the Cannes Film Festival to you, offering a curated selection of films that celebrate French cinematic artistry. From exclusive premieres like "La dérive des continents," a hidden gem from the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2022, to "Bruno Reidal," a gripping narrative from the Semaine de la Critique 2021, your May is set to transform into an ode to French film. Beyond the festival, TV5MONDE extends your journey into French culture with daily interviews from La Croisette by Patrick Simonin and an array of critically acclaimed films.

Don't miss out on "Mon Legionnaire," the closing film of the 2021 Official Section, "Papicha," a standout from the 2019 Un Certain Regard, and "Freda," celebrated in the 2023 Un Certain Regard. Each film is a portal to the vibrancy and depth of French storytelling, offering rich landscapes for language learners and cinema enthusiasts alike.

Subscribe now to TV5 Monde USA and transform your May into a month-long festival of French cinema. Elevate your language skills, discover the magic of French film, and celebrate the artistic spirit of Cannes from the comfort of your home. Join us at TV5MONDE USA and let the allure of French cinema ignite your love for the language. C'est le moment parfait (It's the perfect moment) to embrace French culture at its most radiant. 


What to read other articles related to the Festival de Cannes?

Cannes Film Festival 2024: Learn French with a Useful Guide, Schedule and Dates (Part II)

Juliette Binoche and the Cannes Film Festival: A Love Story

Learn French with 10 useful French idioms for the Cannes Film Festival 2024

Learn French with 10 Famous French Actors' Quotes to Use at the Festival de Cannes 2024