The Spanish director Victor Erice has written an angry open letter in the newspaper “El Pais”, where he claims that the Cannes Film Festival behaved dishonorably during the selection process of films to the different Premiere sections at the festival.
Victor Erice got upset since his film “Close Your Eyes” got selected for the relatively low-profile Premiere section at the Cannes Film Festival. This movie is a return for him to feature film direction after his film “Dream of Lights” premiered at Cannes 30 years ago, which he also won the Cannes Jury Prize for.
The film surrounds a famous actor who disappears during the production of a movie. His body is never found however, the police conclude that he has been a victim of an accident by the sea. Then some years later, the mystery is once again brought back into the spotlight.
Victor Erice was absent from the premiere of “Close Your Eyes” in Cannes. In the “El Pais” letter he explained that his absence was to protest a lack of “dialogue and consultation” with the director Thierry Frémaux, who caused the movie to be in the section where it was.
Cannes Film Festival responded to Victor Erice’s statements, denying that they behaved inappropriately and disrespectfully by explaining that “The selection of the film ‘Cerrar los ojos’ (‘Close Your Eyes’) by Victor Erice took place under the usual conditions of the selection process,”. “The director was notified of the invitation for his Official Selection film on April 12,”. The statement also read “From the beginning, the dialogue was permanent between Thierry Frémaux and Christian Jeune [head of the Cannes Film Office] and with the Spanish producer and the French distributor, Thierry Frémaux having himself had an exchange with Victor Erice,”.
The Cannes Film Festival statement concluded with: “The Cannes Film Festival is the first to be surprised by the considerations made around the selection of the film because it is above all proud and happy to have welcomed ‘Cerrar los ojos’ by Victor Erice in its 76th edition,”.
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