'Class' to open N.Y. film fest

The 46th annual fest runs Sept. 26-Oct. 12

NEW YORK -- The New York Film Festival is getting a bit more "Class," courtesy of the Festival de Cannes and Sony Pictures Classics.

Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or-winning look at teachers in a French high school, "The Class," will open the 46th annual fest, which runs Sept. 26-Oct. 12.

The fest also will feature two showcases: In the Realm of Oshima (featuring the work of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima) 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 film to open the fest, following 2000's "Dancer in the Dark," 1996's "Secrets and Lies" and 1994's "Pulp Fiction." SPC picked up three international territory distribution rights for the film after Cannes.

Foreign films have dominated the opening slot, comprising 26 of the fest's 46 starting films. Three of Cantet's four features have played in programs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which presents NYFF, including "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.