Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or The Class (Entre Les Murs) will open the New York Film Festival, set to run from September 26-October 12.

Two showcases at the Film Society's Walter Reade Theater will round out the festival's main line-up with historical and alternative perspectives.

The first, In The Realm Of Oshima, runs throughout the festival to celebrate the work and influence of Japanese film-maker Nagisa Oshima. The annual Views From The Avant-Garderuns over the second weekend and will feature a 30th anniversary presentation of Guy Debord's In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni.

'Laurent Cantet has pioneered a new kind of social cinema,' selection committee chair Richard Pena said, adding: 'The Class is the finest example yet of this film-maker's important work, and we're delighted to have it open this year's New York Film Festival.'

The film follows François Begaudeau and his fellow teachers as they prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighborhood where the students' difficult behaviour presents daily challenges. Sony Pictures Classics swooped on North American rights following the film's world premiere at Cannes earlier in the year.

For further details about the festival visit the official website at