Megan Daley
April 13, 2015 AT 09:19 PM EDT

Emmanuelle Bercot’s latest film, La Tête Haute, will open the Cannes International Film Festival, the festival announced Monday. This is the first time a film by a female director has kicked off the event since 1987 when Diane Kurys’ A Man in Love opened the festival. 

The film follows the character of Malony (Rod Paradot) through his adolescent years as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him.

“The choice of this film may seem surprising, given the rules generally applied to the Festival de Cannes Opening Ceremony,” General Delegate of the Event, Thierry Frémaux, said in a release. “It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving. Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focusses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.”    

Bercot’s film will premiere May 13 at the Grand Théâtre Lumière in the Palais des Festivals and be released in France the same day. In addition to directing, she also wrote the film alongside Marcia Romano.

The festival recently announced Mad Max: Fury Road starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy will make its debut at Cannes before officially opening on May 15. 

The Cannes International Film Festival is scheduled for May 13 through May 24. 

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