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The New York Film Festival is getting a bit more "Class," courtesy of the Festival de Cannes and Sony Pictures Classics. "The Class," Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or-winning look at high school teachers in a rough Paris neighborhood, will open the 46th annual festival, which runs Sept. 26-Oct. 12.

NYFF also will feature two showcases: In the Realm of Oshima, featuring the work of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (including "Mery Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" and "Pleasures of the Flesh"), and the annual Views From the Avant-Garde, featuring a 30th anniversary presentation of Guy Debord's "We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire."

"Class" is the fourth Palme d'Or winner to open the fest, following 2000's "Dancer in the Dark," 1996's "Secrets and Lies" and 1994's "Pulp Fiction," all of which went on to receive Oscar nominations or wins. SPC picked up domestic rights and three additional international territory rights for the film after Cannes.

Foreign films have dominated the opening slot, comprising 26 of the festival's 46 starting films. Three of Cantet's four features have played in programs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which presents NYFF: "Human Resources" at 2000's New Directors/New Films series, "Time Out" at the 2001 NYFF and "Heading South" at 2006's Rendez-vous with French Cinema.
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