For his eleventh feature, Happy Birthday, actor/director Cédric Kahn nabs the legendary Catherine Deneuve in the lead role, starring opposite himself, writer/director Emmanuelle Bercot (who cast Deneuve in both her 2013 film On Her Way and 2015’s Standing Tall), Laetitia Colombani, Alain Artur, and Vincent Macaigne. Produced by Sylvie Pialat and Benoit Quainon for Les Films du Worso, the project is also co-produced by France 2 Cinema, Tropdebonheur Productions, and Scope Pictures (Belgium). Kahn was programmed in the Directors’ Fortnight with Too Much Happiness in 1994, and competed in the 2001 Cannes competition with Roberto Succo. He’s competed twice in Berlin, with 2004’s Red Lights, and just this past year with 2018’s The Prayer, which won Best Actor for Anthony Bajon.
Gist: Co-written by Fanny Burdino and Samuel Doux (who also worked with Kahn on The Prayer), a family get together for a matiarch’s (Deneuve) birthday turns sour when her unpredictable younger daughter (Bercot), who disappeared four years prior, shows up to sow the seeds of chaos.
Release Date/Prediction: Kahn began filming Happy Birthday in June 2018. A return to Berlin 2019 could potentially be in the cards, but a bevy of French cast members with Cannes connections could also mean the Croisette, though most likely in Directors’ Fortnight.