Directors' Fortnight celebrates 40th


PARIS -- A fortnight isn't enough for organizers of the Directors' Fortnight, who have planned a prolonged celebration to fete the 40th anniversary of the Festival de Cannes sidebar.

A series of events across the globe kicks off Thursday in Athens and Thessaloniki with a "French Films of the Directors' Fortnight" series that will run through April 16.

Another retrospective devoted to the Fortnight will screen April 16-29 at the Cinema Action theater in Paris. It will feature 35 world-renowned titles discovered at the sidebar, including Ken Loach's "Family Life," Michael Winterbottom's "Jude" and Sean Penn's "The Indian Runner."

On May 18, director Olivier Jahan will screen his documentary "40x15," a history of the sidebar, in Cannes as part of a special Directors' Fortnight evening complete with screenings of Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have It" and Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez's "The Blair Witch Project."

Produced by MK2, Jahan's "40x15" features interviews with more than 30 filmmakers, including Jim Jarmusch, Sofia Coppola, Costa Gavras and Manoel de Oliveira.

Jahan spent 18 months preparing the film, which will be broadcast May 15 on Gallic pubcaster France 4 and rebroadcast throughout the month.

Also in Cannes, Robert Kramer and John Douglas' "Milestones," a 1975 Directors' Fortnight title never theatrically released, will screen May 19.

The 40th anniversary celebration will continue long after the festival ends, with a selection of Fortnight titles to screen in Rome on June 4 and a film series featuring foreign and French titles from the sidebar's past 10 years screening in New York and Los Angeles on June 20.

The Directors' Fortnight sidebar runs May 15-28 in Cannes.