Cannes 2022: what is France film festival, red carpet celebrities including Tom Cruise and Eva Longoria, dates

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Over the course of 12 days, 21 films will compete for the festival's coveted top prize, the Palme d'Or

The Cannes Film Festival opened on Tuesday ( 19 May) with a video message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and a focus on Russia's war in Ukraine.

The festival has rolled out the red carpet for what organisers believe will be a fully resurrected French Riviera spectacle after a cancelled 2020 edition and a scaled-back gathering last year.

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The 75th Cannes Film Festival opened with the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius’ zombie comedy, Final Cut.

21 films will compete for the festival's famous top prize - the Palme d'Or - over the course of 12 days, while a number of high-profile Hollywood releases, including Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis and Three Thousand Years Of Longing, will also premiere.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

Which films are showing at the festival?

This year's Cannes kicked off with an opening ceremony followed by the premiere of Final Cut, a film renamed from its original title, Z, after it was pointed out that the letter Z can represent support for Russia's war.

The conflict in Ukraine is anticipated to be a constant presence in Cannes, and Russians with ties to the Kremlin have been forbidden from attending.

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Several films by Ukrainian directors will be screened, including Sergei Loznitsa's documentary, The Natural History Of Destruction.

Hanna Bilobrova, the fiancee of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, will screen footage he recorded before he was killed in Mariupol in April.

The festival in the south of France will also premiere films starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Kristen Stewart.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in a live link-up video during the opening ceremony for the 75th annual Cannes film festival (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in a live link-up video during the opening ceremony for the 75th annual Cannes film festival (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in a live link-up video during the opening ceremony for the 75th annual Cannes film festival (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Here are our highlights of the films selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2022:

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  • Armageddon Time - American period drama from Ad Astra director James Gray starring Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong based around Gray’s upbringing in Queens, New York.
  • Broker - South Korean drama from Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda, following characters associated with baby boxes, which allow infants to be dropped off anonymously to be cared for by others.
  • Brother and Sister - French drama from director Arnaud Desplechin, starring Marion Cotillard as one half of a pair of estranged siblings forced to reunite after 20 years following the death of their parents.
  • Close - Belgian drama from director Lukas Dhont, about two 13-year-old boys whose close friendship is suddenly thrown into disarray as the prospect of adolescence looms.
  • Crimes of the Future - Body horror from The Fly director David Cronenberg, about a man who can grow new organs inside of his body, and has turned the discovery and removal of these new body organs into performance art.
  • Decision to Leave - South Korean mystery from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, about a detective who falls for a mysterious widow after she becomes the prime suspect in his latest investigation.
  • Leila's Brothers - Iranian drama from director Saeed Roustayi, about 40-year-old Leila, who has spent her life caring for her parents and four brothers, and comes up with a plan for change.
  • Showing Up - American film from First Cow director Kelly Reichardt, starring Michelle Williams as an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition.
  • The Stars at Noon - Romantic thriller from High Life director Claire Denis, about an English businessman and an American journalist who strike up a romance and must escape the country during the Nicaraguan Revolution.
  • Tchaikovsky's Wife - Russian historical film from director Kirill Serebrennikov, about the wife of the famous composer, who cannot accept her husband's homosexuality and as a result, loses her mind.
  • Tori and Lokita - Belgian film from brotherly directing duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, about two youngsters from Africa that find themselves contending with the cruel conditions of a life in Belgium.
  • Triangle of Sadness - A dark comedy from Swedish director Force Majeure starring Woody Harrelson, about a fashion model celebrity couple who are invited on a luxury cruise for the super-rich.
The Palme d’Or trophy (Photo:PIERRE ALBOUY/AFP via Getty Images)The Palme d’Or trophy (Photo:PIERRE ALBOUY/AFP via Getty Images)
The Palme d’Or trophy (Photo:PIERRE ALBOUY/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Which celebrities are attending?

Hollywood stars including Lashana Lynch, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Eva Longoria and Forest Whittaker were photographed on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival.

Whittaker, who won best actor at Cannes 34 years ago for his performance as Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood's Bird, was given an honorary Palme d'Or award.

Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly and Miles Teller all dazzled on the red carpet as they attended the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.

Cruise, 59, is attending the Cannes Film Festival for the first time in 30 years.

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The world-renowned festival announced it will pay the Hollywood star an “exceptional tribute” for his lifetime achievements during events on Wednesday (18 May).

Cruise is known for his roles in Top Gun, Rain Man, Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire, The Last Samurai, and his action blockbuster series, Mission: Impossible.

After requiring regular Covid-19 testing and masks in its theatres last year - as well as no red carpet kissing - Cannes has largely abandoned pandemic procedures in 2022.

Masks are still recommended inside, but are rarely worn.

“This year, everyone wanted to come to Cannes,” said Thierry Fremaux, artistic director of the festival, ahead of the opening. “Everyone wanted to meet again.”

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Who is judging the films?

Cannes has also announced the jury that will award the Palme d’Or.

French actor Vincent Lindon is leading a jury that includes Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Trinca, Ladj Ly, Noomi Rapace, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.

Questions of gender equality have long surrounded the Cannes Film Festival, where no more than five female filmmakers have ever been a part of the Palme competition line-up and only two women directors have won it.

Hall, who last year made her directorial debut with the film Passing, said: “I believe that it is a work in progress. I mean for the whole film industry, not just the Cannes Film Festival.

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“The way of dealing with these things needs to be addressed on a grassroots level as well. It’s not just the festivals or public-facing situations. It’s about all the minutiae of what goes into the industry at large.”

When is Cannes 2022?

The 75th annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to take place from 17 to 28 May 2022.

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