Cannes Directors' Fortnight to showcase young talent

Veteran French director Andre Techine will rub shoulders with young and unknown filmmakers at the Directors' Fortnight which is to run as part of next month's Cannes festival, it was announced Tuesday.

Artistic director Frederic Boyer has selected 25 films, of which eight are first offerings that could end up winning the coveted Camera d'Or for a first feature, from every continent excepting only Australia.

Techine, 68, who directed "Wild Reeds" (1994) and "Thieves" (1996) is to show the world premiere of his "Impardonnables" starring Melanie Thierry, Carole Bouquet and Andre Dussolier.

"He was intimidated to take part in a selection alongside young directors," Boyer told journalists, recalling that Techine had already taken part in the Directors' Fortnight in 1975.

The Directors' Fortnight was created by the French Directors Guild following the upheavals of May 1968 and seeks to aid and promote new and avant-garde films from around the world and in a broad range of styles.

Boyer said he had considered more than 1,300 films around the world before making his selection.

"The most difficult thing is to say to a director that we liked their film and then tell them that we nevertheless didn't keep it," he said.

"But it's not just the films you instantly fall in love with... we try to open up to all formats, all budgets and all styles, except Bollywood which doesn't interest me."

The Directors' Fortnight will also feature 14 shorts, which Boyer calls "real films", from those that last five minutes - Briton Duane Hopkins' "Cigarette at Night" - to 50 - Blaise Harrison's "Armand 15 ans l'ete".

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