May 14, 2024, marked the launch of the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, with its usual array of stars, anticipated films, and strong stances.

The opening ceremony, held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, saw numerous celebrities grace the red carpet. Meryl Streep, a cinema icon, received an honorary Palme d’Or for her exceptional career. She was welcomed by Greta Gerwig, this year’s jury president, who is basking in the success of her film Barbie.

Meryl Streep.
Photo Credit: Valery Hache / AFP

The opening film, Le Deuxième Acte by Quentin Dupieux, kicked off the official competition. Among other highly anticipated films are Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga by George Miller.

A highlight of the day was the screening of the first restored part of Abel Gance’s Napoléon, the result of a 16-year restoration project. This masterpiece of cinematic heritage was presented in the Cannes Classics category.

Camille Cottin Greta Gerwig Nadine Labaki Lily Gladstone Juan Antonio Bayona Omar Sy and Ebru Ceylan.
Photo Credit: Christophe Simon / AFP

The festival was also an opportunity for Mohammad Rasoulof, an exiled Iranian director, to make an appeal in favor of filmmakers threatened by authoritarian regimes. His film The Seed of the Sacred Fig is in the running for the competition, but his presence at Cannes remains uncertain.

Social demands also marked this opening, with threats of a strike by festival employees for better working conditions, against the backdrop of a tense socio-political context in France.

Finally, the screening of Moi aussi by Judith Godrèche, a short film paying homage to victims of abuse, underlined the festival’s commitment to giving a voice to important causes through cinema.

This 77th edition promises to be rich in emotions, reflections and influential statements, as emphasized by Thierry Frémaux, the Festival’s general delegate, and Camille Cottin, the mistress of ceremonies.

With AFP

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