Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Inset: Venturelli/WireImage
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April 05, 2018 at 10:33 AM EDT

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are set to make a splash on the shores of southern France in Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film.

The festival has announced that the trio’s upcoming psychological thriller Everybody Knows will have its world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in May, marking the first time since 2013 (when Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 period drama The Great Gatsby bowed at the top of the event) that the festival will launch with a title directed by a filmmaker who is neither French nor American.

According to the Cannes press release, the film charts the story of a woman named Laura, who lives with her husband and children in Buenos Aires. When they return together to her native village in Spain for a family celebration, an unexpected event changes the course of their lives.

The film was produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Memento Films Production in Paris and Alvaro Longoria of Spain’s Morena Films. It is set for release in France on May 9, though North American distribution rights have yet to be secured.

The Spanish-language project is poised to debut on the Croisette roughly two years after Farhadi’s competition title The Salesman won the Cannes Best Screenplay award back in 2016. His 2013 film The Past previously competed for the Palme d’Or in 2013, though Everybody Knows marks Farhadi’s first production to kick off the prestigious film festival. Notable films that have opened Cannes in recent years include Nicole Kidman’s Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco, Emmanuelle Bercot’s Standing Tall, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, and Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts. 

Though two of Farhadi’s films — The Salesman and A Separation — have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the prize in that category is presented to the country that submitted the film, not the director (Still, Farhadi was individually nominated for writing A Separation‘s screenplay). Farhadi was unable to attend the Oscars in February 2017 under President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order barring refugees as well as citizens of several majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. At the start of Cannes’ 70th edition last year, however, Farhadi and The Salesman producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy were presented with the accolade by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences representative Meredith Shea.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival runs May 8-19, with Cate Blanchett fronting the jury.

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Asghar Farhadi
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Focus Features
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