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Cannes Film Festival opens with Volodymyr Zelenskyy video address


After a canceled 2020 version and a scaled again gathering final 12 months, the Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday which what organizers hope might be a completely resuscitated French Riviera spectacular

After a canceled 2020 version and a scaled again gathering final 12 months, the Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday which what organizers hope might be a completely resuscitated French Riviera spectacular

After a canceled 2020 version and a scaled again gathering final 12 months, the Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday with an eye fixed turned to Russia’s battle in Ukraine and a video message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Formally attired stars together with Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Bérénice Bejo and “No Time to Die” star Lashana Lynch had been amongst those that streamed down Cannes’ well-known pink carpet Tuesday for the opening of the seventy fifth Cannes Film Festival and the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius’ zombie comedy “Final Cut.”

More star-studded premieres — “Top Gun: Maverick!” “Elvis!” — await over the next 12 days, during which 21 films will vie for the festival’s prestigious top award, the Palme d’Or. But Tuesday’s opening and the carefully choreographed red-carpet parade leading up the steps to the Grand Théâtre Lumiére again restored one of the movies’ grandest pageants after two years of pandemic that have challenged the exalted stature Cannes annually showers on cinema.

But the war in Ukraine remained in Cannes’ spotlight. During the festival’s opening ceremony, Zelenskyy spoke at length about the connection between cinema and reality, referencing films like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” as inspirations to him.

“The power they’ve taken from the people will be returned to the people,” stated Zelenskyy.

This 12 months’s Cannes opened with the premier of “Final Cut,” which was renamed from its unique title, “Z,” after Ukrainian protesters famous that the letter Z to some symbolizes help for Russia’s battle in Ukraine.

The battle in Ukraine is predicted to be an everyday presence in Cannes. The pageant has barred Russians with ties to the federal government. Set to display screen are a number of movies from distinguished Ukrainian filmmakers, together with Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary “The Natural History of Destruction.” Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius earlier than he was killed in Mariupol in April may even be proven by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

After final 12 months requiring common COVID-19 testing and masks in theaters — and no kisses on the pink carpet — Cannes has largely achieved away with pandemic protocols. Masks are advisable inside however are hardly ever worn.

“Dear friends, let’s come out of this dark together,” stated opening ceremony host Virginie Efira.

Cannes offered an honorary Palme d’Or to Forest Whitaker, who acquired a thunderous standing ovation. Whitaker, who gained greatest actor at Cannes 34 years in the past for his efficiency as Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood’s “Bird,” stated that whereas ascending the steps to the Palais des Festivals on Tuesday, he may nonetheless hear chants of “Clint! Clint!” ringing in his ears. Eastwood is one in every of few others who’ve been awarded an honorary Palme.

On Tuesday, Cannes additionally unveiled the jury that can award the Palme d’Or. French actor Vincent Lindon is main a jury that features Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Trinca, Ladj Ly, Noomi Rapace, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.

Questions of gender equality have lengthy surrounded the Cannes Film Festival, the place not more than 5 feminine filmmakers have ever been part of the Palme competitors lineup and solely two girls administrators have gained it. On Monday, Fremaux defended the pageant, arguing that it selects movies purely on the premise of high quality. Hall, who final 12 months made her directorial debut with the movie “Passing,” was requested about her opinion on Cannes’ report.

“I believe that it is a work in progress. I mean for the whole film industry, not just the Cannes Film Festival,” replied Hall. “The way of dealing with these things needs to be addressed on a grassroots level as well. It’s not just the festivals or public-facing situations. It’s about all the minutiae of what goes into the industry at large.”

Farhadi, the Oscar-winning Iranian director, also spoke for the first time about an ongoing plagiarism suit regarding his previous film, “A Hero,” which gained the Grand Prix in Cannes final 12 months. A former movie pupil of Farhadi’s, Azadeh Masihzadeh, has accused him of stealing the concept of the movie from a 2018 documentary she made in a workshop taught by Farhadi.

Speaking at size, Farhadi stated “A Hero” was not based mostly on the documentary.

“It was based on a current event so this documentary and this film are based on an event that happened two years prior to the workshop,” stated Farhadi. “When an event takes place and is covered by the press, then it becomes public knowledge and you can do what you like about the event. You can write a story or make a film about the event. You can look up the information on this event. ‘A Hero’ is just one interpretation of this event.”

At the tradition-upholding Cannes, the world’s largest and most glitzy temple to film, cinema, controversy and glamour swirl together in a 12-day spectacle of red carpet premieres and rampant movie deal-making up and down the Croisette. Theatrical release is a requirement of any film vying for the Palme, which has prevented streaming services from playing a big role at Cannes.

But this year, one new festival partner — TikTok — has raised some eyebrows. The festival is hosting TikTok creators from around the world and holding a separate contest for best (very short) videos created during the festival. Fremaux called it a “young partnership” and granted TikTok wasn’t the future of cinema.

“The cinema stays the ultimate artwork,” stated Fremaux.



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