By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire April 20, 2009 at 6:39AM
Contrary to trade paper speculation, Francis Ford Coppola won't be bringing his new film, "Tetro," to next month's Cannes Film Festival, declining an offer to screen his film out of competition (according to a report by Mike Jones on his Circuit blog). Meanwhile, Ang Lee, Jane Campion, Michael Haneke, Quentin Tarantino, Ken Loach, Pedro Almodovar, Bong Joon-ho, Marco Bellocchio, Lars von Trier and Johnnie To are on tap for the French festival, according to a Variety report late last week.
The lineup for the 2009 Festival de Cannes is set to be unveiled this Thursday in Paris and as the big day approaches, industry insiders are buzzing about the roster. Observers are anticipating an all-star Cannes this year with a number of international auteurs expected to bring new films to the South of France. While no one will officially know the complete lineup until later this week, observers have enjoyed trying to piece it together as anticipation builds.
In a statement to Mike Jones on Friday, Francis Ford Coppola said, "While I very much appreciate the invitation, this is an independent film, self-financed and self released, and I felt that being invited for a non-competition gala screening wasn't true to the personal and independent nature of this film." He will instead debut the movie at the Seattle International Film Festival on June 10th, ahead of a June 11th U.S. release by Coppola's American Zoetrope.
After a recent screening, Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock was offered an immediate invitation to screen in Cannes, according to Variety in last week's article about the Cannes lineup. Adapted by Focus Features CEO, and longtime Ang Lee collaborator, James Schamus, from a book by Elliot Tiber with Tom Monte, the film stars Demetri Martin, Imelda Staunton, Henry Goodman, Jonathan Groff, Emile Hirsch, Eugene Levy. Set in 1969, the film is described by Focus as the story of a man, "who inadvertently played a pivotal role in making the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival into the famed happening it was." Focus is planning an August release for the movie.
If Ang Lee's latest is on the Cannes roster, it is widely expected to join opening night film "Up" from Pixar, Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds," Pedro Almodovar's ""Los Abrazos rotos," and Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist."
indieWIRE has not independently confirmed much of the Cannes '09 roster, awaiting final word this week, but at industry events last week, numerous insiders said that the fest would include Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric," Jane Campion's "Bright Star," Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon," Tsai Ming-liang's "Face," Johnnie To's "Vengeance," Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora," and Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet."
Films from Sundance that may show up in Cannes outside the main competition, according to a number of insiders, are Lee Daniels "Precious" (formerly known as, "Push"), Lynn Shelton's "Humpday," and Cherien Dabis's "Amreeka."
There's a lengthy roster of some forty films that indieWIRE editors published in a recent wish list. Later this week we'll know for sure which films made the cut (and then we'll start speculating which ones might debut later this year at festivals in Telluride, Toronto, Venice or New York).
indieWIRE complete Cannes '09 wish list was published earlier this month here at indieWIRE.com.