75th Cannes film festival ready to party as Covid rules end

The final touches were laid Monday in Cannes for the 75th anniversary edition of the largest film festival in the world, promising a return to its full splendor.

Suspended from ropes above the legendary Palais des Festivals, workers deployed the huge poster for the Golden Jubilee of the Cannes Film Festival, which this year features an image of “The Truman Show”.

“We are ready. The town hall has just redone everything – the whole place – so we hope it will be fine,” said Jérémie Tripet, manager of “L’Avenue”, a bistro just off the main artery. known as La Croisette.

A major exception is the absence of Russians, due to the impact of sanctions on the war in Ukraine and a decision by organizers that state-related delegates are not welcome.

But otherwise, the festival is keen to put the pandemic in the past, with no mandatory masks or passes this year — and no party restrictions.

The easing of pandemic restrictions also means Hollywood will be back in full force at Cannes.

One of the first stars to hit the red carpet will be Forest Whitaker – the Oscar-winning star of ‘The Last King of Scotland’, ‘Godfather of Harlem’ and more – who will receive the honorary Palme d’Or award at the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Australian Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, hoping to recreate the buzz he generated when he brought the can-can to Cannes with “Moulin Rouge!” 20 years ago.

There are 21 films in the running for the Palme d’Or, including David Cronenberg’s latest body horror fable, “Crimes of the Future” starring Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart.

There are only five women directors in competition, hoping to follow the success of last year’s winner, “Titane”, which made Julia Ducournau the second woman to win the Palme.

Alongside all the glitz, festival director Thierry Fremaux said Cannes aimed to keep the war in Ukraine in the spotlight.

The latest film by Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, killed by Russian forces in Ukraine last month, will receive a special screening.

Beleaguered Ukrainian filmmakers will have a special day at the industry market and one of its most promising directors, Sergei Loznitsa, will show ‘The Natural History of Destruction’, about the bombing of German cities during World War II world.

Fremaux said the festival wanted to lend a helping hand to “Russians who take risks to resist” while offering “absolute and non-negotiable support to the Ukrainian people”.

Originally published as 75th Cannes film festival ready to party as Covid rules end