It seems April Fool's Day tricked a lot more people than usual this year. With stories about James Cameron directing "Prometheus 2" and Daniel Craig skydiving into the London Olympics opening ceremony getting picked up by news organizations as fact from folks ranging from Deadline to the Guardian, another story made the rounds that also seemed slightly dubious.
Blogue Du Festival Du Cannes claimed (somewhat unbelievably) that organizers of the Cannes Film Festival had accidentally put the entire lineup on their website over the weekend before yanking it off again. The thing is, the list of the films was semi-plausible and included many of the titles that have been discussed over the past few months as prime contenders/near certainties ("Cosmopolis," "Rust And Bone," "Lawrence Anyways," "In Another Country") along with a couple of left field selections (Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," Park Chan Wook's "Stoker"). It seemed too good to be true, and well, it is.
Speaking with Deadline, fest honcho Thierry Fremaux responded to the fake lineup. “There was no internet leak,” he said adding, “The selection is in my head...This is all lies and it’s disgusting to play with such a thing. Cannes is an institution and must be preserved. There is a code of conduct for Cannes and it must be respected. Those who don’t respect the code, will never come back to Cannes.” Meanwhile, Wild Bunch exec Vincent Maraval -- who represents a handful of the contending movies -- also notes that some of films mentioned haven't even been seen by Fremaux.
Screen Daily caught up with Christine Aimé, the head of press for the fest, who said, “We’ve had a few enquiries about this… it looks very authentic but it’s what we call a poisson d’avril.” Proving once again, things always sound more elegant en francais. IndieWire co-founder and current Director of Digital Strategy at Film Society Of Lincoln Center Eugene Hernandez also tweeted yesterday, "For what its worth, I know filmmakers/distributors still waiting to hear officially from #Cannes. So mystery list, while fun, seems fake."
So, will some of the films listed make it the Palais? Sure. But there is no better kept secret in the movie world than the Cannes Film Festival lineup, which is always being tweaked and tinkered with right up until the red carpet rolls out on the opening day. We'll find out who will be making the journey on April 19th.