As we eagerly wait for the Cannes Film Festival to reveal its full 2013 lineup tomorrow, the Festival previewed a small but significant piece of information on twitter Wednesday: Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring will open Un Certain Regard on May 16. Qu’est que c’est?
Un Certain Regard is part of the official Cannes lineup, but it’s separate from the official competition for the coveted Palm D’Or. It’s been part of the prestigious festival since 1978 and was introduced to highlight works that were “original and different.” The prize associated with the competition wasn’t added till 1998 and basically gives the winner a grant to fund distribution in France. Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) is serving as President of the Jury this year.
Coppola has had a long relationship with the festival. The Virgin Suicides, her first feature, premiered at Cannes in 2000, and Marie Antoinette played in 2006 as part of the official competition — to a few boos from the audience. The Un Certain Regard prize winners have tended to be more obscure international films, but there have been notable American directors included in the lineup — Gus Van Sant’s Restless opened the category in 2009, and last year, Beasts of the Southern Wild screened in the section as well. It’s possible that the inclusion of Coppola’s The Bling Ring is an attempt to bring further recognition to the category.