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Spanish director Pedro Almodovar said Thursday he was “happy” his Julieta was selected to compete at Cannes in May and that it would help promote his film, which opened last week in Spain with a less-than-stellar performance.
The announcement comes a week after Almodovar canceled all promotional activities in Spain ahead of last Friday’s theatrical release of the pic, citing media attention focused on his name being listed on the Panama Papers.
Julieta is the Oscar-winning helmer’s fifth film to compete at Cannes, in addition to his Bad Education opening the festival out of competition in 2004. Even so, the cult director has never won the Palme d’Or.
“When I was shooting Julieta, I was thinking about festivals. My motivation for writing and filming is always something else,” Almodovar said in a statement. “But now, I intuit the French festival will be a good promotional complement for the film that will be released immediately afterwards in Italy and France. I am going to the festival to work, but also I hope to see good films. Cannes continues to be a celebration of auteur films.”
The film earned some $660,000 off approximately 80,000 tickets sold last weekend. Almodovar never scores the top spots at the Spanish box office and Julieta’s figures fell in the mid-range among most of his previous films.
What made Almodovar’s 20th film’s premiere unusual was his canceling all interviews, scheduled screenings and promotional activities the week of its release due to the uproar caused by the Panama Papers.
Almodovar and his brother Agustin are listed in the unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of the fourth-biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The files show the Almodovars held an offshore company from 1991 through 1994, managed by Mossack Fonseca. The dates coincide with the Spanish director’s first successes, Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (which grossed €3.1 million in 1990) and 1991’s High Heels (with earnings of €5.2 million).
Agustin Almodovar has publicly taken full responsibility for the offshore company as the business partner in the production entity.
“I deeply regret the damage my brother’s public image is suffering, caused exclusively due to my lack of experience in the first years of our family business,” he said.
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