“As an admirer of Xavier's work, it's my pleasure to join him for his first major US release, 'Laurence Anyways,'” said Van Sant. “It's a beautiful film that proves Xavier is one of the most promising young filmmakers working today."
The film -- which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last May -- stars Melvil Poupaud as a man who decides to become a woman, disrupting his relationship with his idiosyncratic girlfriend (Suzanne Clement). Breaking Glass Pictures is releasing the film theatrically in 2013 following its acquisition at the Toronto International Film Festival (where the film won the festival's top juried award).
As a fan of Van Sant's work, the news comes as a significant honor to Dolan.
"Obviously, it's a huge privilege to be considered by an artist like Gus," Dolan said. "One of the first encounters I had with a more sophisticated cinema was 'My Own Private Idaho.' It was the first time I had a sense of what cinema could be or should be made of: Freedom, honesty and intimacy. For me to be endorsed by Gus Van Sant is like telling an 8-year old that Batman is his uncle."
Dolan and Van Sant could both find themselves in contention this awards season, with Van Sant's "Promised Land" out later this month a qualifying run and "Laurence" in contention for the Golden Globes' foreign film award.