The 61st Cannes Film Festival has got underway with the traditional red carpet parade. The jury this year is led by actor Sean Penn, who, along with star Julianne Moore, posed on the steps of the theatre before the première of the thriller “Blindness”, which is in the running for the coveted Palme D’or.
The festival has always attracted a mix of arthouse directors along with Hollywood stars and A-listers like Dennis Hopper, who features in “Palermo Shooting” along with Milla Jovovich, Patti Smith and Lou Reed.
Adding to the star power of the likes of Faye Dunaway and Cate Blanchett will be Madonna and Robert De Niro, who is due to present the Palme D’or at the closing ceremony on May 25th.
Two of sport’s most troubled but charismatic figures are also expected on the Riviera. Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona and US heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson are both the subjects of new documentaries.
Highlights of the next twelve days also include the unveiling of the latest instalment of the Indiana Jones saga starring Harrison Ford as the whip-wielding archaeologist.
“Blindness”, the festival’s opening film, is about an epidemic that causes people to lose their sight, an apolcalyptic metaphor according to its director Fernando Mereilles.
This year’s event has a strong South American flavour, with two Argentinian and two Brazilian films in the main competition line-up.