He was preparing for a great comeback with the closing movies

Povera Sarah White

PARIS (Reuters) – Sean Penn and Wes Anderson will be among the prestigious vying for the top prize at the Cannes International Film Festival in July, when the seventh art fair hopes world stars can once again interact at the Costa Azur parties.

Organizers of the world’s largest film festival said Thursday they believe they can hold dinners and beach shows in parallel with the main competition, as some measures against Covid-19 have been suspended in France.

Usually held in May, last year’s magical event was canceled due to the pandemic and this year will take place from July 6-17. Festival director Thierry Frémaux said there will be no “kissing on the red carpet”, but the restrictions should not be too onerous.

Travelers from other countries, such as the UK, are still subject to quarantine measures in France for now, but there will be no nighttime curfew anymore.

After a 2019 release full of big names in Hollywood, this year’s artist roster features fewer American stars.

The selection of nominees for the Palme d’Or includes some films that focus on the era of Covid-19, in which characters appear in masks.

“The cinema will also show it,” Frémaux told a news conference.

La Frattura, directed by Caterina Corsini, takes place in a modern hospital.

Highlights include Wes Anderson’s movie “The French Dispatch”, best known for “The Eccentric Tenenbaum” and “The Grand Hotel Budapest”.

Flag Day, a drama directed by Sean Penn, will be among 24 films vying for the jury’s attention, led by American director Spike Lee.

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Italian Nani Moretti is back, winning in 2001 the song Tre Piani, and Paul Verhoeven will present Benedetta, which tells of a love story in a monastery.

Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star in “Annette,” a musical from Leos Carax that will premiere on premiere night.

The first films will also be screened by French directors Francois Ozon and Jacques Audiard, Iranian Asghar Farhadi, Russia’s Kirill Serebnikov and Tai Apichatpong Werasethakul, 2010 Palme d’Or winners.

Out of competition, Oliver Stone will present a revised version of “John F. Kennedy – The Question Who Won’t Be Silent” with new material.

(by Sarah White and Michaela Cabrera)

Maggie Benson

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