Cannes Film Festival’s 2011 Cinderella Story

Austrian Markus Schleinzer, a casting director turned actor then director – makes his debut with the only German-language film in Competition, 'Michael.'

BERLIN - Michael, the debut film from Austrian director Markus Schleinzer, could take the prize for best Cinderella story at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Schleinzer was a casting director - he cast Michael Haneke's 2009 Palme d'Or winner The White Ribbon and Oscar-honored The Counterfeiters - and sometime actor before taking his first crack behind the camera - writing and directing Michael. The drama, about the problematic relationship between a 10-year-old boy and a 35-year-old man, was picked for Cannes Competition, where it will go up against the latest from veteran auteurs Lars Von Trier, Pedro Almodovar and Terrence Malick.   

Micheal is the only German-language film in the Cannes Competition  lineup this year but German director Andreas Dresen grabbed a slot on the Un Certain Regard sidebar with his drama Halt auf freier Strecke. Dresen took Un Certain's Jury Prize in 2008 for his senior citizen sex dramedy Cloud 9.