Disney’s “The BFG” to Receive Gala Screening at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

Disney’s “The BFG” is to receive a Gala screening at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The fantasy-adventure film will screen out of competition at the Palais des Festivals as part of this year's festival, which runs May 11-22, ahead of its July 1, 2016 release date.

The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg – finally come together to bring “The BFG” to life. Directed by the three-time Academy Award® winner from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison based on the best-selling book by Dahl, “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country and stars three-time Tony Award®, two-time Olivier Award and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance, newcomer Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader. The film is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer with Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Michael Siegel, Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov serving as executive producers.

The Disney/Amblin/Reliance production in association with Walden Media will open in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that coincides with the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl¹s birth. The Walt Disney Company is distributing the film in the U.S. and select international territories while Mister Smith Entertainment will oversee distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Amblin’s partner, Reliance, will distribute the film in India.

First published in 1982, “The BFG” was Roald Dahl’s own favorite of his stories. Today, the book is published in 41 foreign languages, including Vietnamese, Korean, Ukrainian, Indonesian, Albanian, Estonian, Hebrew and Welsh. “The BFG” is the latest Dahl title to be adapted for stage and screen, following major films, including “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971), “James and the Giant Peach” (1996), “Matilda” (1996), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005) and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009).

Spielberg’s affiliation with the Cannes Film Festival dates back to 1974 when “Sugarland Express” was screened and won the festival’s best screenplay award. Since then the director has had numerous films screen at the festival, including “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” which was the closing night film in 1982. In 2013, Spielberg served as the festival’s jury president.

The 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival will take place May 11-22, 2016.