Cidade dos Homens (2007)
Blindness, the English-language adaptation of Jose Saramago's best-selling mystery novel, stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal in a story about a city struck by a strange blindness pandemic.
Meirelles is a familiar face on the Croisette. The director's acclaimed Rio-based crime drama City of God screened in 2002 at the festival before launching an international career that has included The Constant Gardener and City of Men.
Miramax has U.S. rights to Blindness, and Pathe will release the film in France and the U.K.
Also added to the festival lineup were a pair of Competition titles. Laurent Cantet's Entre Les Murs will be the third Gallic title in the section, while James Gray's Two Lovers, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow, also will vye for this year's Palme d'Or.
"We produce a lot of great films out of Brazil, but they never leave the country because there isn't the (distribution) infrastructure in place to handle it," Meirelles said in an interview. "This is what this new company will do."
Set up by Meirelles, Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Paolo Morelli, 02 is one of Latin America's leading production houses, having created Meirelles' Academy Award-winning City of God as well as Morelli's upcoming City of Men and Meirelles' Blindness, set to shoot in 2008.
Spain's 6 Sales specializes in commercial art house fare and features for the international market in English and Spanish, produced by independent companies from the U.S., Latin America and Europe and is now handling O2 co-production Antonia, Tata Amaral's second feature film.
Meirelles is finalizing cast on dark drama Blindness, meeting with actors to take on the lead role of a Doctor Who is the only man who can see in a village where everyone else is struck blind.
Wong Kar Wai's "My Blueberry Nights", which the Weinstein Co. will release in the U.S., looks as if it will be completed in time to fill the high-profile opening-night slot May 16, while David Fincher's "Zodiac", a Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures co-production, is rumored as the festival closer on May 27.
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's "Grindhouse", Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Thirteen", James Gray's "We Own the Night" and the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men" are locked, and Michael Winterbottom's "A Mighty Heart" is set to premiere May 21 in Cannes.
The U.S.-heavy lineup awaits final confirmation on front-runner "Paranoid Park" by fest veteran Gus Van Sant.
Michael Moore will most likely be making it back to the Croisette with his health care documentary "Sicko", following the director's Palme d'Or win in 2004 for "Fahrenheit 9/11." Paulo Morelli's "City of Men" (the sequel to Fernando Meirelles' "City of God") and Harmony Korine's "Mister Lonely" also are anticipated.
As usual, the French are taking their time to secure festival slots, but it looks as if the black-and-white animated film "Persepolis" will be a contender. Claude Miller's "Un Secret" and Alain Corneau's "Le deuxieme souffle" are still in the running, and U.S. director Julian Schnabel's French production "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is poised to ring on the Croisette.
Although originally rumored as a possible Gallic addition to the In Competition section, Cedric Klapisch's "Paris" won't be finished in time to screen at the fest.
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