Each participating filmmaker has directed a short film of 2-3 minutes in length that will be shown together as a feature-length film at a gala event on May 20. Variety reports that those known to be included are Ken Loach ('06: The Wind That Shakes the Barley), Gus Van Sant ('03: Elephant), Lars von Trier ('00: Dancer in the Dark), Theodoros Angelopoulos ('98: Eternity and a Day), Abbas Kiarostami ('97: Taste of Cherry), Chen Kaige ('93: Farewell My Concubine), Wim Wenders ('84: Paris, Texas) and non-winners (though often-nominated) Wong Kar-Wai, Michael Cimino, Amos Gitai, Manoel de Oliveira, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang. There are 30 shorts in all, so obviously a lot of other contributors are as yet unknown. Only Pedro Almodóvar (also a non-winner, and never a nominee) is known to have declined the offer.
I have to admit that I have never wanted to attend Cannes more than this year, if only because of this special film. According to Variety, the compilation will only be shown the one time and never released publicly. And not only that, but the one time it is shown will be a "low key" event, meaning that even if I were able to get there, I probably wouldn't get to see the films, even with press credentials. A spokesperson for the festival claims they don't want the thing to overshadow the, "main business of showing films." Okay, I don't quite understand how showing films overshadows showing films, but I'll take this spokesperson's word for it and go cry into my pillow.