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Cannes 2018 opens amidst glitz, glamour and controversies

The 71st Cannes International Film Festival opened on Tuesday amidst glitz glamour and controversies regarding the festival battling Netflix, banning selfies on the red carpet and gender equality. Pride of place on the red carpet was given to Asgard Firhardi, The Iranian director of the opening film Everybody knows, who was accompanied by the its stars, Penelope Cruz and Zavier Bardem. The power packed threesome was enthusiastically applauded and cheered by the crowds.
The distinguished jury this year is the festival’s first female-majority jury since 2014. Led by the president of the jury Cate Blanchett, they walked up the stairs together making a visual confirmation of gender parity on the red carpet. The Indian presence went unnoticed. The L’Oréal ambassadors and prominent film industry stars were missing. In addition, the film makers, and the official delegation presence was very low key this year. No selfies were taken on the red carpet.
 The function started with the screening of excerpt from Pierrot le fou by Jean-Luc Godard, from which the poster for this 71st edition was taken. The hallmark of this edition is inspiration, and the tone was set by the verve and enthusiasm of Edouard Baer, Master of Ceremonies, accompanied on piano by Gérard Daguerre.
Thierry Frémaux welcomed and introduced the members of the Feature Film Jury, Chang Chen, Ava DuVernay, Robert Guédiguian, Khadja Nin, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Denis Villeneuve, Andrey Zvyagintsev and their radiant President, Cate Blanchett. Pierre Lescure had the honour of ushering in the coming decade of cinema.
After the screening of a montage of the films that will be vying for the 2018 Palme d’or, singer Juliette Armanet came on stage to perform Les Moulins de mon cœur, composed by Michel Legrand, and winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1969.
In unison, Martin Scorsese and Cate Blanchett announced that the 71st Festival de Cannes was open. The first film in competition, Todos Lo Saben (Everybody Knows) by Asghar Farhadi was screened and proved to be yet another example of a maestro in complete control as his craft as Laura and her children travel from Buenos Aires to the village where she was born on a Spanish vineyard, to attend her sisters wedding. Unexpected events lead this gathering towards a crisis which exposes the hidden past of the family. Everybody Knows will open tomorrow in cinemas in France.
* (More stroy on page 14)