The selection of Andrea Arnold’s debut movie “Red Road” for the main competition — let alone the premium Saturday night slot — was perhaps the biggest surprise of the Cannes lineup.
It just goes to show what you can achieve when you play hard to get.
Insiders say the low-budget pic was originally chosen for the Directors Fortnight. Then the producers received an invitation to screen in Un Certain Regard, which is part of the Official Selection, and therefore regarded as higher status.
However, after due analysis of previous auteurs who have debuted in both sections, the pic’s backers decided that Directors Fortnight was a more effective launchpad and respectfully declined Un Certain Regard.
But Cannes topper Thierry Fremeux would not be denied, and countered with the invitation for “Red Road” to step up the red carpet on Saturday night.