Cannes, Directors' Fortnight

CANNES 00 Before there was Sundance, U.S. independent filmmakers had only the Directors' Fortnight to show their wares. Jim Jarmusch pointed the way in 1984, Spike Lee and Glen Pitre followed in 1986. "40X15" is a comprehensive, affectionate look at the 40 years of the Cannes sidebar that began in the wake of the protest tumults of 1986. It's most hospitable venues would be film schools and museums, or, those cable networks savored by the cineaste.

Begun as a subversive effort by a group of directors who clamored to provide alternative voices in the Cannes screenings, the Directors Fortnight now is recognized by many international filmmakers as the festival's most organic sidebar, open to more innovative works than the establishment-entrenched Official Competition. As one would expect from such storm-the-red carpet beginnings, the 40 years have often been tumultuous; again, contributing to the sidebars' current renegade elan.

In this celebrative docu, longtime Fortnight artistic director Pierrre-Henri Deleau recounts the challenges, curios and triumphs that shaped and nurtured the section. Interspersed with flavorful comments from an array of the talented directors who have distinguished the sidebar over the years, and illuminated by clips from selected films, "40X15" unspools a remarkable history of creativity and moxy.
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