Quebec wunderkind Xavier Dolan's second feature film, Les amours imaginaires ( Heartbeats), has made the cut for Cannes and will compete next month in the French festival's official selection.
It's the first Canadian title to be presented in the category "Un Certain Regard" since 2001, when Zacharias Kunuk's film Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) was invited to the prestigious festival, now in its 63rd year.
The category celebrates young filmmakers and/or bold, avant-garde work. Dolan, who is 21, will be in competition with Jean-Luc Godard's film Socialisme. The German feature film, Life Above All, based on Canadian Allan Stratton's book Chanda's Secret, is also in Un Certain Regard competition.
No stranger to Cannes, Dolan's directorial feature-film debut, J'ai tué ma mère ( I Killed My Mother), picked up three Cannes awards last year - the Art Cinema Award, the SACD Prize for best French-language film and the 2009 Regards Jeunes Prize.
Yesterday, organizers announced the festival's lineup, which also includes works from distinguished directors such as Britain's Mike Leigh (an ensemble comedy called Another Year), Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (whose drama, Biutiful is his first feature since the 2006 drama Babel) and Japan's Takeshi Kitano (the action thriller, Outrage).
Cannes will also premiere the political drama Fair Game from Doug Liman, who directed The Bourne Identity.
Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, starring Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe, is taking the opening-night slot, but is not in competition. Also screening out of competition is Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Stephen Frears's Tamara Drewe and Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Toronto director Atom Egoyan is heading Cannes's 2010 Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury.