PARIS — Melvin Van Peebles, the maverick American actor-writer-producer has been brought on board to liven up the bill of International Critics Week (May 11-19) at the Cannes Film Festival.
The world premiere of Van Peebles’ film “Le Conte du Ventre Plein,” produced by Euripide Prods., is one of a series of events designed to raise the profile of the fest sidebar under the stewardship of Jose Maria Riba.
Riba has secured Bernardo Bertolucci as the first-ever “sponsor” of the event. The Italian director’s “Before the Revolution,” which was presented during Critics’ Week in 1964, will receive a special screening.
Van Peebles has an unusual profile. His first film, “La Permission,” which he wrote in French, was chosen as the French entry to the San Francisco Film Festival in 1967. Thus the American was called upon to travel home to the U.S. to represent France.
Subsequent films include the 1971 “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.”