Cannes Film Festival announces 2019 lineup which includes world premieres of 'Rocketman,' 'Port Authority'

The 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival released a lineup today that moves the needle closer to gender and LGBTQ equality. The festival runs from May 14th - 25th in Cannes, France, and has course corrected itself from last year’s criticism around a lack of women directors. Of the 47 films announced, 13 women directors are represented through 12 films — four of which will compete for the coveted Palme d’Or — and one holds a festival first for transgender representation.

Port Authority will be the first film in the festival’s history to feature a trans woman of color in a leading role. Starring newcomer Leyna Bloom and backed by Martin Scorsese, Port Authority tells a love story that begins at the New York City transportation center and dives into the kiki ballroom scene. The film also marks the feature film debut for director Danielle Lessovitz, who dedicated herself to authentic casting and representation.

Cannes has a storied past with queer representation. Beginning in 2010, the independently-sponsored Queer Palm was introduced to honor a film for its treatment of LGBT themes, which is gleaned from amongst those films nominated or entered under Official Selection, Un Certain Regard, International Critics' Week, Directors' Fortnight and the ACID section. The first Queer Palm was awarded that year to the Gregg Araki-directed Kaboom.

Click here for a look back at the history of queer representation at the Cannes Film Festival.

Also premiering at the festival is Paramount’s long-awaited Rocketman, the Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton and directed by Dexter Fletcher. The film will open in in the U.S. later that month on May 31st. This year’s lineup additionally marks the return of director Xavier Dolan to Cannes with his latest film Mattias and Maxime.

Below is a highlight of notable LGBTQ-inclusive films screening at Cannes. For a full list of the featured films, click here.


Frankie, directed by Ira Sachs. Written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias. Starring Isabelle Huppert, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei, and Jérémie Renier. World premiere. (France)

Little Joe, directed by Jessica Hausner. Written by Géraldine Bajard and Jessica Hausner. Starring Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, and Leanne Best. World premiere. (France)

Matthias and Maxime, directed and written by Xavier Dolan. Starring Harris Dickinson, Xavier Dolan, and Anne Dorval. World premiere. (Canada)

Pain and Glory, or ‘Dolor y Gloria,’ directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar. Starring Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Penélope Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Leonardo Sbaraglia. (Spain)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, or ‘Portrait de le Jeune Fille en Feu,’ directed and written by Céline Sciamma. Starring Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, and Valeria Golino. (France)


Room 212, or ‘Chambre 212,’ directed and written by Christophe Honoré. Starring Carole Bouquet, Chiara Mastroianni, Camille Cottin, and Vincent Lacoste. World premiere. (France)

Port Authority, directed and written by Danielle Lessovitz. Starring Fionn Whitehead, Leyna Bloom, and McCaul Lombardi. World premiere. (USA, France)


Rocketman, directed by Dexter Fletcher. Written by Lee Hall. Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. World premiere. (UK, USA)