A French film director is suing the Cannes Film Festival for not accepting his film.
Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven is taking legal action after claiming that the festival had turned down his film ‘Teenagers’ from being screened because the selectors were “homophobic.”
It is the first time a film director has made a legal case against the Cannes Film Festival’s selection process according to reports but organizers have yet to make an official response.
‘Teenagers’, a low budget gay drama shot by Verhoeven on DV and released in 2011 is at the centre of the lawsuit. The Paris based filmmaker is demanding that the Cannes Film Festival pay the film’s screening costs at other cinemas according to the Telegraph.
Every year the Cannes Film Festival reviews thousands of films from around the world with a very strict selection process. Feature films face huge international competition to get selected to compete for the Palme d’Or, one of the world’s most prestigious film honors.
‘Teenagers’ garnered a ‘Best Feature Film’ prize at the California Film Awards and also won distinction at other independent film festivals. Actor Robert Castel, who played the main role in the film, was also recognized by SkyFest, The NYIFF and the Indiefest for his portrayal of Pierre.
Produced by Forever Productions, the budget of the film is estimated to be below $80,000. Verhoeven’s credits on the film include Director, Writer, Editor, Film Photographer, Sound Op, Costume Designer and Decorator according to Film Festival Magazine.
It is not clear whether the filmmaker will win any concessions from the Cannes Film Festival, but in the court order he wants it to be screened in the official selection this year.