Ukrainian President Opens Cannes Film Festival, Zelensky: We Need A New Charlie Chaplin
Opening of the Cannes Film Festival (Photo: Reuters Via ANTARA)

JAKARTA - The 2022 Cannes Film Festival opens on Tuesday, May 17, local time marked by the arrival of guests on the red carpet, an opening ceremony attended by famous stars, and a speech from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In a video broadcast live from Kyiv, Zelenskiy called for the world of cinema to also speak out against war.

"We need a new (Charlie) Chaplin to prove that today's cinema is not silent," Zelensky said, referring to Charlie Chaplin's satire about Adolf Hitler at the start of World War Two in 1939.

The festival started with the screening of the zombie film "Final Cut" by Michel Hazanavicius. The director joined the cast of Berenice Bejo and Romain Duris on the red carpet.

During the opening ceremony, festival president Pierre Lescure presented the Honorary Palme d'Or award to actor Forest Whitaker.

The actor's production company screened a documentary about the war in South Sudan entitled "For the Sake of Peace".

The war situation in Ukraine overshadowed the festival, and talk of the role of cinema during times of violence dominated the discussion.

“With everything that has happened in the last two years—and especially with what has happened over the last few months, yes, we're going to be careful to be polite, respectful, not too casual, smart, and standing tall—if only to get out respect for those who had days that were far, far, far, far more difficult than ours," said festival jury president Vincent Lindon as quoted by ANTARA, Wednesday, May 18.

The world's largest film festival runs from May 17 to 28. This schedule returns to the Cannes Festival calendar which is usually held that month, after two years of disruption due to the pandemic.

The 75th festival will also include screenings of Hollywood films including Joseph Kosinski's Top Gun: Maverick starring Tom Cruise and director Baz Luhrmann's “Elvis” starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks.


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