Welcome to New York movie starring Gerard Depardieu as a disgraced politician based on Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be shown for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival.
The controversial movie has been much-anticipated but will not be shown as part of the official festival program.
Instead, Welcome to New York will be shown at midnight on Friday at a private beach screening.
Welcome to New York tells of how a French politician is accused of attempted rape in a New York hotel room.
DSK quit his role as boss of the International Monetary Fund in 2011 after being accused of a sex attack on a maid in a Manhattan hotel. Once seen as a French presidential hopeful, Socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn also had to give up his political ambitions.
Charges were eventually dropped and DSK subsequently reached a settlement with the maid. Two other cases against him were also dismissed.
The two-hour film, in which Gerard Depardieu plays a character called Deveraux, was funded mostly in the US and the director Abel Ferrara is also American.
As such, the French-language production counts as being American.
Welcome to New York will be released in cinemas in countries outside France, but in France it is being made available, at least initially, on pay-to-view websites.
“We realized it was the perfect film to experiment with this type of release,” producer Vincent Maraval told Variety magazine.
“We’ll get to target the widest possible audiences at a faster pace, with a smaller investment… and preserve some kind of curiosity around the movie before the press starts unveiling what’s in it.”
In the same interview, Vincent Maraval also criticized the French political, TV and movie establishment, saying: “No French TV station wanted to finance us.
“Everyone warned us not to make this film, both our friends and our enemies.”
Vincent Maraval told Variety there was an “incestuous relationship” between the “media and political elites” in France, which made it impossible to make films about “current affairs”.
Gerard Depardieu put some of his own money into the film and took a low fee of 100,000 euros.
The politician’s wife is played by English actress Jacqueline Bisset.
Welcome to New York tells the story of how a French economics professor becomes a politician backed by his wife’s millions, rises to fame and prosperity only to be brought down by accusations of rape.
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