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Cannes Film Festival Kicks Off

Posted May. 15, 2003 22:04,   


With the crimson red carpet rolled out in the set of Cannes Beach, nicked named `Cote d`Azur (meaning the turquoise sea),` the world`s most prestigious film festival was kicked off. At `Palais de Festival (the palace of festival)` at 7:00 p.m. on May 14, Penelope Cruz and Vincent Perez, a couple starring in the opening film `Pang Pang La Tulip,` announced the opening of the 56th Cannes Film Festival in English, French and Spanish.

Despite some unfortunate developments including SARS break and the delay in flight schedules resulting from the strike of French labor unions, fans from all over the world seem as excited as previous years.

Fans began to pack the street leading to the Pale de Festival from the morning. At 2:00 p.m. the street was all crowded with people. Five police units were dispatched to the scene in a caution against a terrorist attack, but the security concern soon paled as glamorous stars like Penelope Cruz, Monica Bellucci, Meg Ryan and Andy McDowell began to appear.

The small city of some 80,000 population estimates that some 4,000 journalists and 150,000 movie industry members and tourists will visit the city this year.

The main competition this year will be joined by 20 movies from 13 countries, including 6 French movies, 3 American ones and 4 Asian movies. New face directors like Row Ye, Nuri Bige Sailan and Gurojawa Giyoshi will compete with mid-standing ones like Peter Greenerway, Clint Eastwood and Lars von Trier.

Throughout the festival, some 700 movies are expected to be introduced, including 70 in the non-competition area.

Despite lighter presence of American films, two Hollywood blockbuster sequels, `Matrix Reloaded` and `Terminator 3` are waging all-out publicity campaigns, lining the street with big posters.

Korean films, which won worldwide recognition with Director Im Gwon-taek`s `Chiwhasun` last year, failed to join the main competition this year. And out of the competition Korean films include Lee Chang-dong`s `Oasis,` Jun Sun-young`s `Good Night,` Park Jong-woo`s `A Story about a Death,` Shin Sang-ok`s `Green Trees` and Kim Hyun-pil`s short film `Wonderful Days.`

The Cannes Film Market, an event held on the sidelines of the festival luring movie distributors, importers and investors worldwide, was attended by some 7,000 industry officials from 70 countries. 8 Korean studios, `Cinema Service,` `CJ Entertainment,` `Gang Je-gyu Film,` `Mirror Vision,` `Cine Click Asia,` `KM Culture` and `Korea Pictures,` opened booths and began aggressive marketing

Soo-Kyung Kim skkim@donga.com