A larger-than-usual Competition — 24 films — for its 2021 edition was announced today by the Cannes Film Festival, along with the Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard and other titles that comprise (for now) its official selection. Delayed from its usual dates in mid-May to July 6-17, the festival opens with the long-awaited Leos Carax Sparks-scored musical Annette and contains new features by Asghar Farhadi, Mia Hansen-Løve, Jacques Audiard and Nanni Moretti. Cannes also adds this year a new section, Cannes Premieres, containing films by festival veterans such as Oliver Stone, Kornél Mundruczo and Andrea Arnold. Among the American independent directors in the festival, Kogonada follows up his Sundance premiere, Columbus, with the sci-fi drama After Yang; Sean Baker appears in Competition for the first time with the Texas-shot Red Rocket; and Sean Penn returns to the festival with his thriller Flag Day. Also of note on the American independent front are Todd Haynes’s Velvet Underground doc and Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater (both Out of Competition); Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou in Un Certain Regard; and in the Cannes Premieres section, Ting Poo and Leo Scott’s Val, about Val Kilmer. And, held over from last year, when it would have premiered, is Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. Also of note: in the Special Screenings category, an anthology film, The Year Of The Everlasting Storm, shot during this past pandemic year, with sections directed by Jafar Panahi, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.