A new French film was added to the Cannes Film Festival line-up on Monday despite reports of inappropriate behavior on set, including the use of a child in a sex scene.
The return (The Return) by director Catherine Corsini was stripped of €680,000 euros in state support (out of a €4.7 million budget) after it was discovered that the makers had left out the sex scene featuring an under-16 actress from the script when they applied for funding , the National Center of Cinematography told Agence France-Presse last week.
It was nevertheless added to the line-up for next month’s festival along with another French film, Black Flies by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire. Among several other late additions announced on Monday was a Midnight Screening of Ben Affleck’s new sci-fi thriller Hypnotic by cult director Robert Rodriguez.
Paris prosecutors told AFP that he had received a complaint in November 2022 about the treatment of a minor in The return, and that an initial investigation was launched. French media have also reported complaints that Corsini, 66, was verbally abusive during the shoot.
The film’s producer, Elisabeth Perez told the French daily The Parisian that the failure to declare the sex scene was “an administrative error” and confirmed “tensions on the set”, but denied there was any “verbal or physical violence on the part of Catherine, nor in general on set”.
The return is not the only controversial inclusion at this year’s festival, which opens with Johnny Depp’s comeback film, Jeanne du Barrywhose French director Maiwenn is under investigation for allegedly assaulting a journalist.
But it also has a star-packed line-up featuring out-of-competition premieres for the new Indiana Jones and Pixar movies, as well as the latest from Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon.