Stars descend on Cannes to celebrate Festival's 70th edition

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By Everton Gayle  with REUTERS
Stars descend on Cannes to celebrate Festival's 70th edition

It is the biggest and most important film festival in the world.

And as the director Thierry Fremaux once said, the Cannes Film Festival is simply “the place to be”.

The 70th edition of the event will see the likes of Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal walk the red carpet.

It also boasts an international jury that includes Spanish director Pedro Almodovar at the helm, as well as actors Will Smith, Jessica Chastain and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.

This year’s official selection is made up of 50 flims from 30 countries. Nineteen among those presented will be vying for the coveted Palme d’Or top prize.

Contenders include Michael Haneke’s Happy End, starring Isabelle Huppert, Sofia Coppola The Beguiled, Andrey Zvyagintsev Loveless, Oscar-winner Michel Hazanavicius Redoutable, festival favourites Naomi Kawase Radiance and Fatih Akin In The Fade as well as Yorgos Lanthimos The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

TV series will make their first appearance in Cannes this year with Twin Peaks and Top of the Lake featuring in the line-up.

It is also a magnet for Chinese visitors, some of whom work for film distribution companies who have been sent to Cannes to learn from French cinema.

French director Arnaud Desplechin’s film Ismael’s Ghosts will open the festival, which will end on May 28.