By Indiewire | Indiewire February 23, 2004 at 2:00AM
Almodovar's "La Mala Educacion" to Open 57th Festival de Cannes
by Brian Brooks
Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's "La Mala Educacion" (Bad Education) will open the 57th Festival de Cannes on Wednesday, May 12th the festival announced early Friday. Written and directed by Almodovar, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal ("Y Tu Mama Tambien"), Fele Martinez ("Dos tipos duros"), and Javier Camara, who starred in Almodovar's previous project "Hable con ella" (Talk to Her). According to the official Cannes announcement, the film "tells the story of two young boys who discover love, film and fear in the 1960s in a religious school run by Father Manolo. The three characters meet again at the end of the 1970s and during the 1980s."
"Kill Bill: Vol 2" by Quentin Tarantino -- who will head the jury this year -- had been speculated as the opener of the festival this year. The news that "La Mala Educacion" would open, however, seemed to take some by surprise. "If it's true, then we're thrilled," Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker told indieWIRE after a call for comment. Sony Classics will distribute the film in North America.
"The joy that fills me upon learning that my latest film is to open the next Festival de Cannes is more that of an adolescent than an adult," Almodovar said in a statement Friday from Madrid. "When I was told, I once again became that young man who made Super 8 films and for whom the Festival de Cannes has always represented the greatest film fest imaginable." He went on to praise France for being his "major interlocutor." In 1999, Almodovar received the best director prize in Cannes for his film "Todo Sobre Mi Madre" (All About My Mother) and later won the Academy Award for best director.
In other Cannes line-up news, it is widely expected that Walter Salles' "The Motorcycle Diaries," which also stars Bernal, will screen at Cannes. The film had its world debut last month at the Sundance Film Festival. The Festival de Cannes will continue through Sunday, May 23rd.