‘The Specials,’ From the Makers of ‘Intouchables,’ to Close Cannes Film Festival

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s “The Specials,” a social comedy with Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb, is set to close the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The film will screen May 25 during the festival’s closing ceremony.

Produced and distributed by Gaumont, “The Specials” is the latest film from Nakache and Toledano, the French directing duo behind the hit “Intouchables.” Their new movie is an uplifting comedy about the true story of Stephane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou, two friends from different religious faiths who, 20 years ago, created a pair of nonprofit organizations for children with severe autism.

Cannes said the film “acutely evokes social and contemporary issues, where the collective world is once again at the heart of everything: social workers, volunteers, health professionals all striving to take care of autistic teens.”

The festival said that the film had been submitted for consideration “at the last minute.” Thierry Frémaux, Cannes’ artistic director, described the movie as “more than contemporary.” Fremaux said that “The Specials,” like many other films world premiering in the official selection this year will “talk about cities, streets, shopping centers, filming all the faces of youth, their commitments, their music, the places they live in, their rage for life and their questioning of the world. ”

“Just like the characters, the viewers find themselves immersed in the life of these associations, with these families, doctors, volunteers, interns, all these heroes of solidarity championing the love of others,” added Pierre Lescure, Cannes’ president.

Cannes also said that it would no longer call its final movie the “closing film” but rather the “last screening.” The festival said that it wanted “to reconnect with its tradition of final great screenings,” citing memorable instances in the past such as “E.T.” in 1982 and “Thelma and Louise” in 1991.

“The Specials” will be released by Gaumont on Oct. 23 in France.

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