Just a few days before the Cannes Film Festival is set to get under way, festival organizers have made a very rare last minute addition their now 18-film competition with Ken Loach’s Iraq War drama “Route Irish.” Variety reported that Loach “initially declined a Cannes bid for his latest film, but changed his mind only recently and screened it for topper Thierry Fremaux and members of the selection committee.”
The film was written by Loach regular Paul Laverty, and is described by Variety as “a story of two ex-soldiers in love with the same woman who head to Iraq to work as private contractors. It’s set both in Liverpool and Iraq, where a contractor named Fergus (Mark Womack) returns following the death of his friend along the deadly road (from where pic’s title is taken) that links the Green Zone with the airport used by the coalition.”
This news marks Loach’s third film to screen in competition at Cannes in just five years. He took the Palme d’Or in 2006 with “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” and joined last year’s lineup with “Looking for Eric.”
The Cannes Film Festival kicks off this Wednesday, May 12 with the world premiere of Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” (read Todd McCarthy’s review here). indieWIRE will be on the scene in Cannes beginning this Wednesday through the end of the festival. “Irish” will screen on Thursday, May 20th.