TWO organisers of the Cannes film festival speak during the presentation.—Reuters
TWO organisers of the Cannes film festival speak during the presentation.—Reuters

PARIS: Sean Penn and Wes Anderson will be among heavy hitters vying for the Cannes Film Festival’s top award in July, when the cinema showcase is hoping international stars will be able to mingle at parties on the French riviera again.

Organisers of the world’s biggest film festival said on Thursday they were confident of being able to host dinners and beach screenings alongside the main competition as some Covid-19 measures are lifted in France.

Usually held in May, the extravaganza was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, and will run between July 6 and 17 this year. While there will be no “kissing at the top of the red carpet”, restrictions should not be too onerous, festival director Thierry Fremaux said.

Travellers from some countries such as Britain are still facing quarantine measures in France for now, but there will no longer be evening curfews.

After a Hollywood-heavy edition of Cannes in 2019, the comeback line-up features fewer big-name US stars.

The selection competing for the Palme d’Or features some films anchored in Covid-19 times, with characters wearing face masks. “Cinema will also have been marked by this,” Fremaux told a news conference.

French director Catherine Corsini’s “La Fracture” is set in a hospital in the present day.

Highlights will include “The French Dispatch” by Wes Anderson, known for his quirky “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Anderson’s latest film, about a fictional US newspaper office in France starring Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, has been delayed since 2019.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2021

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