Cannes rolls out red carpet for 75th film festival

After a canceled 2020 edition and a scaled-back gathering last year, the Cannes Film Festival kicked off the red carpet on Tuesday with what organizers expect to be a fully revived French Riviera spectacular.

Eva Longoria graced the famous Cannes red carpet on Tuesday ahead of the opening of the 75th Cannes Film Festival and the premiere of Michelle Hazanavicius’ zombie comedy Final Cut.

Eva Longoria poses on the Cannes red carpet
, photo credit: PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW

Over the next 12 days, 21 films will compete for the festival’s coveted top prize, the Palme d’Or, while some high-profile Hollywood titles—including “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis” and “Three Thousand Years Off” . Longing” – will also launch at Cannes.

After last year requiring regular COVID-19 testing and masks in theaters – and no kissing on the red carpet – Cannes has largely flouted pandemic protocols. Masks are recommended inside but are rarely worn.

“This year, everyone wanted to come to Cannes,” said Thierry Framaux, the festival’s artistic director, before the opening. “Everyone wanted to meet again.”

This year’s Cannes officially begins with an opening ceremony on Tuesday evening before the premiere of “Final Cut”, which was renamed to its original title, “Z”, when Ukrainian protesters noted that the letter The jade symbolizes some support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

War in Ukraine is expected to be a regular appearance at Cannes. The festival has put Russians on ties to the government. On the screen are several films by prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including the documentary “The Natural History of Destruction” by Sergei Loznitsa. Footage, shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedravicius before he was killed in Mariupol in April, will also be shown by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

On Tuesday, Cannes unveiled the jury that will award the Palme d’Or. French actor Vincent Lindon is leading a jury that includes Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Trinka, Ladj Lee, Noomi Rapes, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.

Questions of gender equality have long raged at the Cannes Film Festival, where no more than five female filmmakers have ever been part of the Palme competition lineup and only two female directors have won it. On Monday, Fremaux defended the festival, arguing that it selects films purely on the basis of quality. Hall, who made his directorial debut with the film “Passing” last year, was asked about his opinion on the Cannes record.

Thierry Fremoux, head of the Cannes Film Festival

Thierry Fremoux, head of the Cannes Film Festival
, photo credit: John Phillips

“I believe it is a work in progress. I mean the entire film industry, not just the Cannes Film Festival,” replied Hall. It’s not just about festivals or public-facing situations. It’s about all the nuances of what goes into the industry at large.”

Oscar-winning Iranian director Farhadi also spoke for the first time about the ongoing plagiarism trial about his previous film, “A Hero,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year. A former film student of Farhadi, Azadi Messiahadeh, has accused him of plagiarizing the idea of ​​a film from a 2018 documentary made in a workshop taught by Farhadi.

Elaborating, Farhadi said that “A Hero” was not based on the documentary.

“It was based on a current incident, so this documentary and the film are based on an incident that happened two years before the workshop,” Farhadi said. “When an event happens and is covered by the press, 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 see the details of this incident. ‘A Hero’ is just an explanation of this incident.”

Keeping up with the tradition at Cannes, the world’s largest and most fascinating temple to film, cinema, controversy and glamour, come together in the spectacle of 12 days of red carpet premieres and massive movie deal-making above and below the croissant rotates. Theatrical release is a requirement for any film vying for the Palme, which has kept streaming services from playing a big part at Cannes.

But this year, a new festival partner — TikTok — has raised some eyebrows. The festival is hosting TikTok creators from all over the world and is holding a separate competition for the best (very short) videos created during the festival. Fremaux called it a “youth partnership” and said that TikTok was not the future of cinema.

“Cinema remains the ultimate art,” Framaux said.

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