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CANNES: Final preparations before the deluge of films, stars and glitter: on the eve of the opening of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the Croisette is preparing to welcome the cinema planet and regain its festive airs.

Rope access workers deployed the poster for the 75th edition on Sunday, inspired by a scene from the film “The Truman Show”, on the pediment of the Palais des Festivals.

“Tuesday will also be a big day for laying the carpet so here we are, we are coming to the end, for us, after three weeks of assembly”, welcomes José Will, head of the exhibition department at the Palais des Festivals, with AFPTV.

On the Croisette, the Festival teams, like the dozens of hotels, palaces, restaurants and shops that are full at this time, have one last day to prepare everything.

For this anniversary edition, more than 35,000 moviegoers and professionals are preparing to come to the seaside town of the Côte d’Azur. In an atmosphere swinging between stars, cream of auteur cinema and the echoes of the war in Ukraine through several selected films.

“We are ready. The town hall has just redone everything, the whole place, so we hope that it will go well for the public”, launches Jérémie Tripet, manager of the bistro “L’avenue”, a stone’s throw from the Croisette.

No masks

On Monday, the first festival-goers will begin to arrive, from all over the world, or almost: few Russian professionals are expected, the Festival having announced since the invasion of Ukraine that it would not welcome official “delegations” or government-related structures.

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And some countries like China could be less present than usual, due to the health situation there. But in Cannes, the page of the Covid epidemic, which forced the cancellation in 2020 and an edition in July last year, seems turned: the Festival has returned to its usual dates and there will be no mandatory masks, no health pass this year.

From Tuesday evening, the party and the 7th art regain their rights, after the arrival of the jury, chaired by the French actor Vincent Lindon, who succeeds Spike Lee.

One of the first international stars to climb the steps will be actor Forest Whitaker (“Ghost dog”, “The Last King of Scotland”). An honorary Palme d’Or will be awarded to him at the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening, presented by actress Virginie Efira.

Many other stars will follow: Kristen Stewart, who will climb the steps alongside Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen for the latest David Cronenberg film, the promising Austin Butler and the veteran Tom Hanks, who interpret Elvis and his manager in a biopic event , and of course Tom Cruise for the last “Top Gun”.

On the competition side, 21 films – and 5 female directors – are in the running to succeed “Titane”, the gory and uncompromising Palme d’Or by Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau, the 2nd crowned director in the history of the Festival.

posthumous film

Among the filmmakers expected: David Cronenberg (“Crash”), who once again promises to shake the public with “The crimes of the future”, Park Chan-wook (“Old boy”) who returns with a sulphurous investigation (“Decision to leave”) or James Gray who will present “Armageddon Time”, with Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway.

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Several already crowned filmmakers are in the running, including the Dardenne brothers (“Rosetta”) with “Tori and Lokita”, Ruben Östlund, the most gritty of Swedish filmmakers (“The Square”) with “Without filter”, or the Japanese Kore-eda (“A Family Affair”), which this time filmed “Broker” with South Korean “Parasite” star Song Kang-ho. As well as promising young talents, named Lukas Dhont or Leonor Serraille, both in competition for their second film.

The Festival also promised not to forget Ukraine and last week added to the selection the posthumous film by Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius, killed in early April in Mariupol. His fiancée who accompanied him was able to bring back the images shot there and put them together.

The competition will open on Wednesday with the latest film by Kirill Serebrennikov, who has become a symbol of Russian artists breaking with the regime since he was able to legally reach Europe after the outbreak of war.

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