Woody Allen's 'Cafe Society' will open Cannes, a first for producer Amazon

Allen's newest film will open the film festival this spring. Movies by the director have opened Cannes before, but this will be the first time a movie released by Amazon has done so.

Thibault Camus/AP
Woody Allen attends a press conference for the film 'Irrational Man' at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Director Woody Allen’s newest film, “Café Society,” is set to open the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. 

Mr. Allen’s movies have opened the festival before, with 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” and 2002’s “Hollywood Ending” becoming the first movies to screen at the international film festival in the respective years. 

Allen’s “Café” will continue the pattern established by the director of releasing a movie a year, with recent other works by the helmer including “Irrational Man,” “Magic in the Moonlight,” and “Blue Jasmine.” Allen usually writes his films as well.

“Café” stars Jesse Eisenberg of “Batman v Superman” as a young man living in Hollywood in the 1930s. The movie co-stars Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, Blake Lively, Parker Posey, and Corey Stoll. 

The film is being released in the U.S. by Amazon, with which Allen is also working on a TV show.

“Café” opening the Cannes Film Festival will be the first time that a movie being released by the company has earned such a spot.

The last few years have seen relatively new TV and movie producers like Amazon and Netflix releasing programming that has earned accolades previously reserved for films or TV shows released by traditional studios. 

Amazon has found critical acclaim with its TV series “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle,” while programs like “Bosch” have also proven popular.

Netflix rose to fame with original TV programming like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.”

Now original movies produced by Amazon include director Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” and the upcoming movie “Elvis & Nixon,” starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey.

Netflix released the original movie “Beasts of No Nation” last year, which was critically acclaimed and thought to be a possible Oscars contender, though it missed out on nominations. Other original movies released by Netflix include the Adam Sandler comedy “The Ridiculous 6,” the sequel “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny,” and the Paul Reubens movie “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

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