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'La Tete Haute' to open 2015 Cannes Film Festival

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MUMBAI: This year a female director will open the Festival. La Tete haute, a film by Frenchwoman, Emmanuelle Bercot, will open the 68th edition of the Festival de Cannes on 13 May, 2015.

La Tete 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, Rhone-Alpes and Paris area regions, with the participation of Catherine Deneuve, Benoit 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. 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,” explains general delegate of the event Thierry Fremaux.

The world premiere of La Tete haute will be shown in the Grand Theatre Lumi?re in the Palais des Festivals, and will be released in French cinemas the same day (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.

Bercot is a film director, screenwriter and actress. She studied dance at Cours Florent before attending La Femis 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 Cinefondation Prize for La Puce, her final-year student film. In 2001, her first feature film, Clement (Clement), in which she plays the main character, made the Un Certain Regard Official Selection. Since then, she has directed several films, including On my Way (Ellesenva) in 2014, in which Catherine Deneuve gave one of her best performances.

Bercot also co-wrote the script for Maiwenn's Polis (Polisse), which earned her the main role in her latest film, Mon Roi.

La Tete haute was written by 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 Cinema, Wild Bunch, Rhone-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 Cinefondation and Short Film Jury by Mauritian Film Director Abderrahmane Sissako

The Official Selection will be announced on 16 April.

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