Coming-of-age pic stars Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska

Lending auteur heft to the section and confirming expectations, Gus Van Sant’s “Restless” will open this year’s Cannes Festival’s Un Certain Regard on May 12.

Turning on the relationship between teens, played by Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hooper, “Restless” is produced by Columbia Pics., Imagine Ent. and 360 Pics.

Pundits had talked up the Sony Classics pic “Restless” as a potential candidate for Competition, given Van Sant’s Croisette pedigree: He received the Palme d’Or in 2003 for “Elephant” and the 60th Anniversary Award for “Paranoid Park” in 2007.

Van Sant’s opener berth at Un Certain Regard reflects, however, Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux’s strategy, which has paid dividends in recent years, of mixing in Un Certain Regard both regarded auteurs with a Cannes track-record and up-and-coming or near completely unknown directors.

The jury president, Emir Kusturica, will present the Un Certain Regard Prize May 21.

The Official Selection, including Competition titles, is announced Thursday in Paris.

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