Anton Corbijn's debut feature Control has been selected as the opening night film of Directors Fortnight in Cannes next month.

The film is a biopic of the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, whom Corbijn knew personally, and follows his rise to fame, his relationships with both wife and girlfriend, his struggle with epilepsy and his suicide in 1980 on the eve of the band's first US tour.

Corbijn is best known as a photographer of iconic album covers such as U2's Joshua Tree and Unforgettable Fire and director of music videos including Joy Division's Atmosphere, which was shot after Curtis' death.

The selection into Quinzaine gives at least one UK film a high profile slot in a festival which has so far roundly ignored new British cinema.

The film was produced by Corbijn with Orian Williams and Todd Eckert of NorthSee and was written by Matt Greenhalgh from the book Touching From A Distance by Curtis' widow Deborah.

Newcomer Sam Riley is generating buzz for his performance as Curtis in the film while Samantha Morton plays Deborah, with Alexandra Maria Lara (who is also in Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth) as his girlfriend Annik Honore.

Deborah Curtis also co-produced the film with former Joy Division manager Tony Wilson and Peter Heslop.

Executive producing were Becker International, EM Media, Warner Bros Music UK and IFF / CINV in association with Three Dogs AndA Pony.

The film is sold internationally by Becker International and has already sold to Momentum for the UK, Paradiso for Benelux, Dendy for Australia and La Fabrique de Films for France.