According to The Straits Times, the Cannes Film Festival rolled out the red carpet Tuesday (May 17) as the Mediterranean port city filled up with cinema stars, festival-goers, and oglers for the 75th-anniversary event, bringing buzz and glamour back to the resort destination.
The world’s biggest film festival runs from May 17-28, back to its traditional calendar following two years of pandemic disruptions, and marking the return of parties and high hopes from the industry that it will spark the return of audiences to movie theaters.
It opened on Tuesday with the screening of Michel Hazanavicius’s zombie film, Final Cut, and will also feature heavy hitters like Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick – bringing Cruise to the festival for the first time in 30 years – and Australian film-maker Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic.
During the opening ceremony, American actor Forest Whitaker received the festival’s Honorary Palme D’Or for lifetime achievement. The actor’s production company is showing For the Sake of Peace, a documentary on the war in South Sudan.
With the war in Ukraine hanging over the event, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the gala opening ceremony as a surprise guest by video link from Kyiv. He asked for the cinema world’s solidarity with his people in the face of the Russian invasion.
The festival’s jury – includes actors and filmmakers such as Rebecca Hall, Noomi Rapace, Deepika Padukone, and Asghar Farhadi who also spoke out about the role of cinema during times of violence.