'Da Vinci' star power to fuel Cannes film festival

20th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 20, 2006 (AFP) - Stars from the 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'X-Men 3' are to spearhead the celebrity invasion at this year's Cannes film festival, according to details of the event released Thursday by organisers.

PARIS, April 20, 2006 (AFP) - Stars from the 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'X-Men 3' are to spearhead the celebrity invasion at this year's Cannes film festival, according to details of the event released Thursday by organisers.

Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Ian McKellen are among the A-listers expected to walk the red carpet in the French Riviera resort during the May 17-28 festival.

Other top names include Bruce Willis, Cate Blanchett, Kirsten Dunst, The Rock, Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins, and Cannes jury members Samuel L. Jackson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Zhang Ziyi and Monica Bellucci.

Organisers said the festival — the top showcase in the world for international cinema and the biggest gathering of movie industry executives — would reinforce its role as a magnet for "art cinema, glamour, deals and the press".

'The Da Vinci Code' and the latest 'X-Men' movie are to be shown out of competition, but will ensure a lightning storm of press coverage as the stars appear.

In the more serious competition itself, 19 films will be vying for the prestigious Palme d'Or trophy.

Among them are 'Volver' the latest film by popular Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, 'Marie-Antoinette', the long-awaited feature by 'Lost in Translation' director Sofia Coppola and starring Dunst, and 'The Cayman' by previous Cannes winner, the Italian director Nanni Moretti.

British director Ken Loach will also be there with 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley', as will two other US filmmakers: Richard Kelly, director of the acclaimed 'Donnie Darko' who will be presenting a sci-fi comedy called 'Southland Tales'; and Richard Linklater with 'Fast Food Nation'.

Outside of competition, some films are also certain to attract attention, notably 'United 93', a real-time account of what was believed to have happened on the fourth aircraft hijacked in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States — the one that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Another will be a documentary about French soccer player Zinadine Zidane that will be riding high on the excitement preceding the 2006 World Cup championship in Germany in June.

The selection reflects a desire for the festival "to take risks," the man charged with choosing the movies, Thierry Fremaux, told a media conference in an ornate Paris hotel.

This year will see films from 30 countries included in the official competition and sideline projections, and the thousands of accredited journalists will be able to watch some 48 world premieres over the 10 days of the festival.

On top of that, the sprawling industry market bringing together producers, distributors and film-makers that takes place behind the scenes will host a staggering 1,400 other films of all types and from all countries, ranging from confounding artsy fare to some of the biggest but as-yet-unheralded flicks that will be released over the next 18 months.

Asia is particularly well-represented this year, both in the official screenings and on the jury.

The head of the 2006 Cannes jury is Wong Kar Wai — the first time a Chinese has filled the seat. In honour of his work (which has seen him nominated three times for the Palme d'Or, though he has never won it), the festival poster depicts a scene from his film 'In the Mood for Love'.

He will be joined on the panel by Zhang Ziyi, the young Chinese star of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

List of films to be shown at the Cannes film festival

A total of 21 films are competing in this year's Cannes film festival for the prestigious Palme d'Or award:

— 'Volver' by Pedro Almodovar, Spain

— 'Red Road' by Andrea Arnold, Britain

— 'La Raison de Plus Faible' (The Weakest Reason) by director/actor Lucas Belvaux, Belgium

— 'Indigenes' (Natives) by Rachid Bouchareb, Algeria

— 'Iklimler' (The Climates) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

— 'Marie-Antoinette' by Sofia Coppola, US

— 'Juventud em Marcha' (Youth Marching) by Pedro Costa, Portugal

— 'Pan's Labyrinth' by Guillermo del Toro, Mexico

— 'Babel' by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mexico

— 'Laitakaupungin Valot' (The Lights on the Outskirts) by Aki Kaurismaki, Finland

— 'Southland Tales' by Richard Kelly, US

— 'Fast Food Nation' by Richard Linklater, US

— 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley' by Ken Loach, Britain

— 'Summer Palace' by Lou Ye, China

— 'Il Caimano' (The Cayman) by Nanni Moretti, Italy

— 'L'Amico di Famiglia' by Paolo Sorrentino, Italy

— 'Flandres' by Bruno Dumont, France

— 'Selon Charlie' (According to Charlie) by Nicole Garcia, France

— 'Quand J'Etais Chanteur' (When I Was a Singer) by Xavier Giannoli, France

  Out of competition:

  — 'The Da Vinci Code', by Ron Howard, US

— 'X-Men 3: The Last Stand' by Brett Ratner, US

— 'United 93', by Paul Greengrass, US (a film recounting what was believed to have happened on a plane hijacked during the September 11, 2001 attacks that crashed in Pennsylvania)

— 'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait', by Douglas Gordon, Philippe Parreno, France (a documentary about the star French soccer player Zinedine Zidane)

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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