Ari Folman's sci-fi film "The Congress," which is part realist live-action, part fantasy animation and stars Robin Wright, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti, Harvey Keitel and Kodi Smit-McPhee, will open the Cannes sidebar Director's Fortnight on May 16. Folman wrote and directed Israel's Oscar-nominated foreign film "Waltz with Bashir," an animated documentary which was slotted in the main Cannes competition, so this is something of a comedown for the established filmmaker, opening night or no. (Trailer below.)
In the 123-minute film, which is a liberal reworking of Stanislaw Lem's 1971 novel "The Futurological Congress," Robin Wright plays herself, an aging actress who sells Hollywood the digital rights to her younger image. Here's our First Look, in which Folman explains how the film splits present-day live action with an animated future, which takes the character forward 20 years. Folman wanted to cast an
actress who was willing to play herself in the role; he considered
Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Jason Leigh and others. Folman supervised animation in five countries on this Israeli/Polish/French coproduction from
his Jaffa studio, where he made "Bashir."
The full Directors Fortnight lineup will be revealed on Tuesday, April 23 by programmer Edouard Waintrop.