This year a female director will open the Festival. La Tête haute, a film by Frenchwoman, Emmanuelle Bercot, will open the 68th edition of the Festival de Cannes on Wednesday 13 May.
La Tête haute tells the story of Malony, and his upbringing from six to eighteen years, as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him. It was filmed in the Nord-Pas de Calais, Rhône-Alpes and Paris area regions, with the participation of Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel, Sara Forestier and Rod Paradot, who plays the main character.
“The choice of this film may seem surprising, given the rules generally applied to the Festival de Cannes Opening Ceremony,” explains Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Event. “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 focusses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.”
The world première of La Tête haute will be shown in the Grand Théâtre Lumière in the Palais des Festivals, and will be released in French cinemas the same day, on Wednesday 13 May. The film has already been sold in multiple countries.
As in previous years, the cinemas screening the film will be able to take part in the festivities and screen the Opening Ceremony, courtesy of Canal+ and an agreement between the Festival and the FNCF (French National Cinema Federation). This year, Lambert Wilson will host the ceremony.
Emmanuelle Bercot is a film director, screenwriter and actress. She studied dance at Cours Florent before attending La Fémis film school. Her talent was discovered at the 1997 Festival de Cannes, where her short film, Les Vacances, received the Jury Prize. This was confirmed two years later with a second Cinéfondation Prize for La Puce, her final-year student film. In 2001, her first feature film, Clement (Clément), in which she plays the main character, made the Un Certain Regard Official Selection. Since then, she has directed several films, including Elle s’en va in 2014, in which Catherine Deneuve gave one of her best performances.
Emmanuelle Bercot also co-wrote the script for Maïwenn’s Polisse which earned her the main role in her latest film, Mon Roi.
La Tête haute was written by Emmanuelle Bercot and Marcia Romano, with Guillaume Schiffman as director of photography. It is produced by Les Films du Kiosque, and co-produced by France 2 Cinéma, Wild Bunch, Rhône-Alpes Cinema and Pictanovo with the participation of Nord-Pas de Calais Region. It is sold by Elle Driver and distributed in France by Wild Bunch.
The 68th edition of the Festival de Cannes will take place from 13 to 24 May 2015. The Jury of the Competition will be chaired by American directors Joel and Ethan Coen, the Un Certain Regard Jury by the Italian-American actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini, and the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury by Mauritian Film Director Abderrahmane Sissako