Films to screen in Special Screenings slots

PARIS — The Cannes Film Festival has added two helming debuts, Eduardo Valente’s “No meu lugar” (Eye of the Storm) and Ounie Lecomte’s “A Brand New Life,” to its Official Selection lineup.

Both have been allocated out-of-competition Special Screenings slots.

“Eye of the Storm” tells the story of a burglary that leads to a policeman’s accidental shooting of the father of the family burgled. Pic was produced by Walter Salles and Mauricio Ramos’ Rio-based Videofilmes shingle.

Brazilian helmer-scribe Valente has had two short films screen at Cannes: “Um sol alaranjado” (Daughter and Father) won the Cinefondation prize in 2002 and “O monstro” (The Monster) played in the short film competition section in 2006.

Set in a South Korean orphanage in the 1970s, “A Brand New Life” is partially based on helmer Lecomte’s own experiences as a Korean-born child who was adopted by French parents. Its cast includes Korean thesps Ko Ah-sung (“The Host”) and Park Myeong-shin (“Old Boy”).

Pic, which was produced by French shingle Gloria Films (“Apres lui”) and Lee’s Now Films Co, has been picked up for French distribution by Diaphana, with Korean sales co. Fine Cut repping international sales.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux told Daily Variety Friday that “New Life” was included in the out-of-competition slot to avoid a conflict of interest with its South Korean co-producer Lee Chang-Dong (director of “Secret Sunshine” and “Peppermint Candy”), who’s serving on this year’s feature film jury.

Another recent addition to Cannes’ Official Selection was Fanny Ardant’s helming debut “Cendres et sang” (Ashes and Blood) (Variety, April 30), which also plays out-of-competition in Special Screenings.

The Official Selection is this year being dedicated to the memory of Dutch producer Wouter Barendrecht, who died April 5.

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