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'2046' vies for top prize
Updated: 2004-05-14 09:34

The 57th Cannes International Film Festival, the world's top showcase for international moviemaking, opened Wednesday in France. A stream of elegantly dressed stars and celebrities turned out to walk the famous red carpet ahead of the festival's opening film, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education.

Almodovar declared the 12-day event open in Spanish, after first paying homage "to the victims of the terrorist attack in Madrid on March 11."

U.S. director Quentin Tarantino was enthusiastic in taking up his role as this year’s president of the jury tasked with selecting the Palme d' Or winner.

"To me Cannes is heaven, all right, it's just heaven if you love cinema, and you know you all dream about going to heaven," said the director, who won the Palme d’Or 10 years ago for Pulp Fiction.

In the coming days, the star wattage is to intensify before culminating in the awarding of the Palme d’Or on May 22.

On Thursday, Brad Pitt is to appear for his new film, Troy, along with costars Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and Diane Kruger.

Other A-listers expected include Charlize Theron, Maggie Cheung, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Uma Thurman, Tom Hanks, Sharon Stone and Sean Penn.

A total of 19 films are in competition for the Palme d’Or, many of which will be making their worldwide premieres.

Fahrenheit 911, a U.S. documentary by Michael Moore, is certain to generate buzz when it gets its premiere because of its heavy criticism of U.S. President George W. Bush and his policies in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, a British film about the chameleon-like comedic actor, Old Boy, the latest movie by South Korean director Park Chan-wook and Wong Kar-wai’s long anticipated 2046 will also be seen.

Out-of-competition highlights will be provided by Tarantino’s Kill Bill 2 and Troy. Other titles in this category include Bad Education, De-Lovely and Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers.

Twenty-one films comprise Cannes' third major section, Un Certain Regard, including The Assassination of Richard Nixon. Young Chinese director Yang Chao’s Passages is also featured in the category.

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