Movie world descends on Cannes

Marilyn's birthday cake marks Cannes anniversary

Controversy as Le Monde letter complains about lack of women directors up for Palme d'Or

THOUSANDS of the movers and shakers in the world of cinema have arrived in Cannes for tonight's opening of the No1 global movie market.

Bérénice Bejo, star of the Oscar-winning silent film The Artist, opens the 65th anniversary event under a giant image of Marylin Monroe and birthday cake and will welcome the stars of the 91 films to be screened, with 22 jousting for the Palme d'Or, and hundreds more being marketed in the back-rooms.

Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Ed Norton and Tilda Swinton will be there for the opening film, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, but they are the advance party of a cast list that includes Jackie Chan, Sacha Baron Cohen, Marion Cotillard, John Cusack, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Kristen Stewart and Reese Witherspoon.

Plus there is a directorial contingent with Palme d'Or winners Jacques Audiard, David Cronenberg, Michael Haneke, Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Cristian Mungiu, and Thomas Vinterberg.

Critics have noted that all the 22 directors up for the Palme d'Or are male and a letter to Le Monde pointed out that only one woman had won the supreme award - Jane Campion, for The Piano in 1993.

The Palme d'Or jury itself, led by Italian director Nanni Moretti, includes Ewan McGregor, Andrea Arnold, Diane Kruger and Emmanuelle Devos, with the only juror from outside the film industry, Jean Paul Gaultier.

Find out what's happening each day, at the Cannes Film Festival website (in English)

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