By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 04, 2002 01:00 PM

Woody Allen is about to do a second uncharacteristic action, following his surprise appearance at the Oscars: He is going to France’s Cannes Film Festival. His new comedy, “Hollywood Ending,” will premiere at the cinematic rite of spring on May 15 and mark the first time that the normally reticent filmmaker, 66, has ever attended the festival, organizers told Reuters on Thursday. The film, which is due to be screened out of competition, stars Allen, T a Leoni, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, George Hamilton and Treat Williams. (The American release is slated for late May.) Previously, Allen’s “Manhattan, ” “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Hannah and Her Sisters” were shown at Cannes. “The French were my first supporters and have always showed huge generosity toward me,” the usually publicity-shy Allen was quoted as saying in a statement. “Over the last few years, they have invited me so many times that I now want to offer them something in return. I will therefore come personally to present my film ‘Hollywood Ending,’ which I think will be perfect for the event.” As for how Oscars producer Laura Ziskin got Allen to show up at the March 24 event, where he delivered his hilarious and moving plea for filmmakers to come work in New York, she told the Los Angeles Times, “That was just a miracle. Every Oscar show producer has wanted Woody Allen.” The key to her success, she said, was Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, through which Allen’s movies are now released. At a Women in Film luncheon, she told him that “more than anything I wanted Woody . . . He turned to Terry Press (DreamWorks’s marketing head) and said, ‘She’ll make it happen.’ Terry, (Allen’s publicist) Leslee Dart and Jeffrey did it.”