'Waltz With Bashir' Director Ari Folman's 'The Congress' To Open Cannes Directors' Fortnight

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by Kevin Jagernauth
April 19, 2013 8:44 AM
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Yesterday, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival lineup was formally announced, and among the titles selected were a few that surprised us, while we noted others that seemed like eye-opening omissions. Today comes word of one filmmaker who is going from competing in the main line up at Cannes to opening one of the sidebar slates of programming.

Ari Folman's long-awaited "The Congress" has been selected as the opening film of the Cannes Directors' Fortnight. It's certainly intriguing given that the director's previous picture, "Waltz With Bashir," was vying for a Palme d'Or in the main competition at Cannes in 2008. Perhaps the genre elements of it didn't make it possible this year, but even so, we would've figured the Un Certain Regard category may have been a good fit. But for whatever reason, Folman won't be in the Palais this year. 

We'll leave speculation aside and focus on the live-action/animated film, which we're looking forward to matter where it plays. Starring Robin Wright, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Paul Giamatti and Danny Huston, and based on the short story "The Futurological Congress" by Stanislaw Lem, the film follows an aging, out-of-work actress (Wright) who accepts one last job so she can make ends meet to care for her disabled son. The job is simple - irreverent ajor studio will scan her image and likeness and use it as they see fit, essentially making her irrelevant and unhireable for any future projects. However, the consequences go beyond what she was ever expecting.

No word yet on U.S. release dates but with the movie now coming out of hiding after literally years in development and production, much more is likely to come. The Directors' Fortnight runs from May 16-26.

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