Cannes: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano Film ‘The Specials’ to Close Festival

In a press release Monday, Cannes Film Festival announced “The Specials,” by directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, as its closing night film.

Nakache and Toledano, the directing duo behind “The Intouchables,” head to Cannes with their latest film about two educators and volunteers taking care of autistic teens. It’s described as a comedy drama, much akin to their 2011 film. It stars Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb.

From the festival press release:

“The directing puts all the characters on the same level, in a film that acutely evokes social and contemporary issues, where the collective world is once again at the heart of everything: social workers, volunteers, health professionals all striving to take care of autistic teens. As usual, the two filmmakers go all out with their love of humanity, their belief in the life of the group, and humor as the first and ultimate defense in human relationships.”

Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb in “The Specials” (IMDb)

“The viewers find themselves immersed in the life of these associations, with these families, doctors, volunteers, interns, all these heroes of solidarity championing the love of others,” said Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival. This is Nakache and Toledano’s seventh feature film together. They started working together long before “The Intouchables” in short film production. Their first feature film as a joint effort, 2005’s “Let’s Be Friends,” was nominated for the Golden Goblet Award at the Shanghai Film Festival.

Cannes Film Festival also announced that they will be renaming the Closing Film to Last Screening. In doing so, Cannes “wishes to reconnect with its tradition of final great screenings.” The fest hopes to provide that same excitement and experience that surrounded the closing night screenings of past films like “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” and “Thelma and Louise.”

“The Specials” is produced and distributed by Gaumont. The film opens in French theaters October 23. The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14-25. The film will premiere as the Last Screening of the festival May 25.

What do you think about “The Specials,” from Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, coming to Cannes? Let us know in the comments below!