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Cannes film festival kicks off, gathers stars

CANNES, France, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Worldwide filmmakers and movie stars walking on the red carpet have brought the 65th Cannes film festival to its first climax, as it kicked off with American director Wes Anderson's 1960s drama "Moonrise Kingdom" here on Wednesday.

Hundreds of film fans were greeted by arriving stars after waiting across the road for hours. Many of them cheered when the crew of the opening film showed up, such as Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, together with the director and the two child stars Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

In a press conference earlier on Wednesday, 43-year-old Anderson said he enjoyed working with friends, as "every time we started as a little reunion and since 'Moonrise Kingdom' we will have a bigger family."

Anderson, widely known for working with many of the same actors and crew on varying projects, is most famous for "The Royal Tenenbaums", "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox", which received an Oscar nomination in 2010 for best animated feature film.

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, "Moonrise Kingdom" tells a story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away together into wilderness and then a violent storm turn the peaceful island community upside down.

Edward Norton commented that the director put together "one of the greatest trips in modern cinema", while Bill Burray said it was "an honor to be asked back" and work with Wes Anderson again.

"Moonrise Kingdom" and 21 other selected films will be competing for coveted Palme d'Or award in front of a nine-strong jury headed by Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti. Last year it went to "The Tree of Life" by veteran American filmmaker Terrence Malick.

Apart from the 22 films in the race, there are 17 other films in the new talent section, as well as 15 more for a red-carpet slot out of competition.

The opening ceremony following the red-carpet walk was hosted by Bernice Bejo, who starred in the Oscar-winning movie "The Artist" and would also host the closing ceremony at the end of the 12-day event at the Riviera resort.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the festival, with a poster featuring an iconic image of Marilyn Monroe blowing out a candle from a birthday cake. The festival has been held annually since 1946, with the exception of 1948 and 1950 due to lack of funds.

Source: Xinhuanet
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