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Iranian director Asghar Farhadi after winning the best screenplay award for Forushande (The Salesman) at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Photo: EPA-EFE/Julien Warnand

Cannes Film Festival’s opening film: Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Asghar Farhadi’s Everyone Knows

Iranian film starring Spanish cinema’s golden couple will be in the running for the French festival’s top prize


The Cannes Film Festival will open next month with Iranian master Asghar Farhadi’s new film Everybody Knows, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

The Spanish-language psychological thriller will also compete for the Palme d’Or – the first time in six years that an opening film will be in the running for the festival’s top prize.

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While Farhadi won an Oscar and the Golden Bear at Berlin for his 2011 breakthrough film, A Separation, he has never taken home the Palme d’Or, although two of his later films – The Past (2013) and The Salesman (2016) – won best screenplay and best actor and actress prizes.

Penelope Cruz (left) and Javier Bardem at the 65th San Sebastian Film Festival, in San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque country. Photo: AFP
Everybody Knows, which also features the Argentine star Ricardo Darin, tells the story of a woman played by Cruz who returns from Buenos Aires to her native village in Spain with her husband and children.

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Cruz and Bardem are the golden couple of Spanish-language cinema, and have starred in several films together including last year’s Loving Pablo, about a journalist who falls in love with the notorious Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar.

Farhadi, 45, one Iran’s most renowned directors, has made a name for himself with tense and carefully crafted stories both inside and outside his homeland.

The film will be released in France on May 9, the day after the 11-day festival begins.