In what is being hailed as a major scoop, a film by a woman director is to open the Cannes Film festival 2015. “Tête haute/Head Held High” certainly has a strong buzz going for it. The film is the tale of a judge and a social assistant fighting to keep a young hothead out of prison as he grows up.
The team behind the film is very strong. Director Emanuelle Bercot has been bubbling just under the radar for some time. The French 43 year-old is a regular at major festivals with “Clément” in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2001, “Backstage” out of competition at Venice in 2005 and “On My Way” in competition at Berlin in 2013. She was also noted for the powerful screenplay of “Poliss” directed by Maïwenn.
Cannes regulars on the screen
On the acting front, Catherine Deneuve is the judge, with Benoît Magimel (Best Actor in Cannes 2011 for “The Piano Teacher” and nominated as best supporting actor by the Césars for “Clo-Clo”). The main role, however, is being played by the young Rod Paradot, who now has a lot to carry on his shoulders.
Speaking about the unusual choice for the opening film, Thierry Frémaux, Event Director, was very clear. “The choice of this film may seem surprising, given the rules generally applied to the Festival de Cannes Opening Ceremony,” he said. “It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving.” (…)
Getting to Cannes
Getting “Head Held High”, which was co-written by Marcia Romano, on its way to Cannes was already quite an achievement. The film was produced by François Kraus and Denis Pineau-Valencienne for Les Films du Kiosque. Co-producers are France 2 Cinéma and Wild Bunch (which will be in charge of distribution in French cinemas). The film was pre-purchased by Canal+, and is also being backed by the CNC’s advance on receipts, Pictanovo and Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, as well as by four of the Soficas. International sales are handled by Elle Driver.