Quebec filmmaker Chloe Robichaud says she's thrilled and grateful to learn her first feature is headed to the Cannes Film Festival.
Robichaud's dramedy "Sarah Prefers to Run" ("Sarah Prefere La Course") will compete in the prestigious "Un Certain Regard" program.
At 25, the young filmmaker is already a veteran of the Croisette.
She's been there in each of the past three years — most notably in 2012 when her 13-minute tale "Herd Leader" ("Chef de meute") competed for a coveted Palme d'Or in the short film category.
This year she'll be up against established directors including "Chocolat" director Claire Denis and her film "Les Salauds," and Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation") whose film "The Bling Ring" will open "Un Certain Regard."
The Cannes Film Festival runs May 15 to 26.
"It is a surprise, it is a gift, I'm just thrilled," Robichaud said Thursday from her home in Montreal.
"We wanted to (submit it to) Cannes, of course, but when I was shooting the film I wasn't thinking to shoot the film for Cannes. I was just doing the best I could to have the best film."
The $1.2-million tale centres on a runner named Sarah who is invited to join the best club in Montreal but doesn't have the money to do so.
"She decides to marry to get better grants and loans," says Robichaud.
"Because in Quebec, if you are a student and you are married, you have good grants. So she does that with a friend but the (marriage) doesn't go as planned."
The film was shot in Montreal and Quebec City last August.
Robichaud's Cannes debut came in 2010 with the short "Me Neither" ("Moi non plus") screening at the Short Film Corner, a side program where directors and producers can mingle and gain international exposure.
She returned in 2011 when "Still Life" (Nature Morte) was selected as part of a Quebec showcase of homegrown talent.
Robichaud says she's a fan of the other filmmakers in her category, especially Coppola.
"'Lost in Translation' is one of my favourite films, it changed me as a filmmaker, so to have my name beside her name is really, it's an emotional day for me. Because when you see 'Coppola' and 'Robichaud' in the same list it's really great."
The Concordia University grad is the rare Canuck in competition this year.
A short film by Saskatoon native Jefferson Moneo is one of 18 films selected for the Cinefondation program, meant to inspire the next generation of auteurs from film schools around the world.
Moneo's film "Going South" was crafted while he studied at Columbia University's Graduate Film Program. He received a Hollywood Foreign Press Award in 2010 for his work there as a first-year student.
According to a bio posted to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, "Going South" centres on "a prairie wild child looking for a way out."
Danish "Dogma" director Thomas Vinterberg will head the "Un Certain Regard" jury.
Other films in this section include "As I Lay Dying" by actor-director James Franco, an adaptation of the famed William Faulkner novel of the same name.
"Sarah Prefers to Run" opens in Quebec on June 7.