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Cannes Will Open With a Film By a Female Director for the First Time Since 1987

Cannes Will Open With a Film By a Female Director for the First Time Since 1987

Days before the 2015 Cannes Film Festival is set to announce its lineup on Thursday, the event has revealed its opening night film: “La Tête Haute,” directed by Emmanuelle Bercot and starring Catherine Deneuve. Astonishingly enough, this marks the first time that the festival has opened with a film directed by a female director since 1987, when Cannes kicked off with Diane Kurys’ “A Man in Love.”

The festival’s choice to not open with a big, starry movie marks a surprising change of pace for the festival that has opened in recent years with “Grace of Monaco” and “The Great Gatsby.” Thierry Frémaux, the director of the festival, acknowledged the shift. “The choice of this film may seem surprising,” he said in a statement. “It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving. Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focuses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.”

The drama tells the story of a juvenile delinquent, Malony, and tracks his upbringing as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him from himself.

Bercot’s history with Cannes dates back to 1997, when her short film, “Les Vacances,” received the Jury Prize. Her 2001 feature debut “Clement” screened in the Un Certain Regard section. She also co-wrote the script for Maïwenn’s “Polisse,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2011.

The film will world premiere at Cannes on May 13. The festival runs May 13-24.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article relied on information from the official Cannes press release mistakenly stating that this marks the first time in history that a female director has opened the festival. We’ve since made the correction to our story.

READ MORE: Cannes Wish List: 20 Films We Hope to See at the 2015 Festival

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Dear Christine: Thanks for your astute observation in "setting the facts straight" here. While it’s unfortunate that it has taken 18 years for the acclaimed, Cannes Film Fest to make such a bold and progressive statement by headlining the festival with a female director. Fortunately, La Tête Haute
(roughly translated as: "Heads Up!" by Emmanuelle Bercot is going to be a fantastic treat and stars one of cinema’s classic’s, the talented and timeless, Catherine Deneuve.


That’s not what the original headline said. It was changed later.

rachel feldman

Who cares since when? IT"S HAPPENING NOW. FABULOUS news for all of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heidi Haaland

Oui, Christine…


that’s exactly what the headline says — SINCE 1987, not never


Can you guys at Indiewire once and for all please hire writers that do appropriate fact-checking??


It is not the first time a female director open the Cannes Film Festival. Diane Kurys opened the festival with "A Man In Love" in 1987. ;)


Wrong : in 1987, A Man in Love, from Diane Kurys

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