"The Congress" to Open Directors' Fortnight in Cannes

 Photo courtesy of www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com
Photo courtesy of www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com


The Congress, a film directed by Ari Folman and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will open the Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival, which runs from May 15 through May 26, 2013. The Cannes screening will mark the film’s world premiere.

Ari Folman’s Film to Open Directors’ Fortnight

Ari Folman’s latest project The Congress will open the 45th edition of Director’s Fortnight. Launched in 1969, Directors’ Fortnight focuses on contemporary and often avant-garde cinematic works. It was the Directors’ Fortnight that brought to light the first films by such acclaimed filmmakers as Werner Herzog, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Ken Loach, Jim Jarmusch, Jerzy Skolimowski, the Dardenne brothers, and Michael Haneke. The Congress will be screened on Thursday, May 16.

“The Futurological Congress”

The screenplay was based on Stanisław Lem’s novel “Kongres futurologiczny” (“The Futurological Congress”), first published in 1971. The Congress tells the story of an actress (Robin Wright) who signs a contract with a film studio, selling her identity. The studio will now have the rights to use her virtual image in future productions. 20 years later, the contract is to be renegotiated. But by then the situation has changed radically. The film studio has been bought by a pharmaceutical mogul that wants to transform the identity of the actress into a drug that is to be sold globally.

Second Folman Film to Screen in Cannes

Ari Folman is the director of the animated feature documentary Waltz with Bashir (2008), which screened in Main Competition in Cannes and has received wide international acclaim, including a Golden Globe Award. Folman’s latest film The Congress is a feature film combining live-action with animation techniques. The film was lensed by Polish cinematographer Michał Englert. Leading roles were played by internationally-acclaimed actors: Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm, Francis Fisher, Sami Gayle, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. David Polonsky, who previously collaborated with Ari Folman on Waltz with Bashir, was responsible for production design. The animation department was led by Yoni Godman.

International Co-Production Supported by the Polish Film Institute

The Congress is an international co-production produced by Opus Film (Poland), Pandora Film (Germany), Bridgit Folman Film Gang (Israel), ARP Selection (France), Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), and Paul Thiltges Distribution (Luxembourg). Institutions that provided co-financing include the Polish Film Institute and the Silesian Film Fund. The animation work on the project was done at Orange Studio in Bielsko-Biała. World sales are handled by the German-based company The Match Factory.


The 66th Cannes International Film Festival runs from May 15 through May 26, 2013.


The official website of Directors’ Fortnight is available at: www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com.


The official website of the Cannes festival is available at: www.festival-cannes.fr.


Paulina Bez

Translated by Karolina Kołtun