After a cancelled 2020 edition and a scaled back gathering last year, the Cannes Film Festival has rolled out the red carpet for what organisers hope will be a fully resuscitated French Riviera spectacular.
Formally attired stars like Eva Longoria were streaming down the Cannes’ famous red carpet on Wednesday morning (Australian time) ahead of the opening of the 75th Cannes Film Festival and the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius’ zombie comedy Final Cut.
Over the next 12 days, 21 films will vie for the festival’s prestigious top award, the Palme d’Or, while a handful of high-profile Hollywood titles – including Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis and Three Thousand Years of Longing – will also launch in Cannes.
After last year requiring regular COVID-19 testing and masks in theatres – and no kisses on the red carpet – Cannes has largely done away with pandemic protocols.
Masks are recommended inside but are rarely worn.
“This year, everyone wanted to come to Cannes,” said Thierry Fremaux, artistic director of the festival, ahead of the opening.
“Everyone wanted to meet again.”
This year’s Cannes officially begins on Tuesday night (local time) with an opening ceremony preceding the premier of Final Cut, which was renamed from its original title, Z, after Ukrainian protesters noted that the letter Z to some symbolises support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine is expected to be a regular presence in Cannes.
The festival has barred Russians with ties to the government.
Set to screen are several films from prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary The Natural History of Destruction.
Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius before he was killed in Mariupol in April will also be shown by his fiancee Hanna Bilobrova.
On Tuesday, Cannes unveiled the jury that will award the Palme d’Or.
French actor Vincent Lindon leads a jury that includes Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Trinca, Ladj Ly, Noomi Rapace, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.