The 62nd Cannes Film Festival opened with an animated movie called Up. This light-hearted and popular Disney movie about an elderly global explorer showcases cutting edge animation techniques but it has been viewed as a surprising choice to open the festival.
2009 is being hailed as the year of the heavyweights. With classic filmmakers such as Coppola, Tarantino, Ang Lee and Von Trier showing films, few expected the festival to kick off with an animated movie.
Up may have been chosen in an attempt to show the broad reach and mass appeal of animation. After all, animated movies have proved to be some of the most popular and best selling in recent in times.
This year’s festival appears to have a cross-cultural theme. Asia and Europe are well represented with films such as Looking for Eric, a British movie featuring the French football hero Eric Cantona. Other cross-cultural examples include Map of the Sounds of Tokyo which is a Spanish thriller set in Japan, and a movie about a French chef set in Hong Kong called Vengeance.
Asia and Europe also dominate the judging panel for the coveted Palme d’Or for best film. Actress Shu Qi will be one of a six-strong jury who decides which of the twenty nominated feature films merits the prestigious award.
Although there has been much speculation and not a lot of agreement on who will win, one thing is for certain.
The media attention that can be gained from participation in the festival provides enough of a draw for the industry heavyweights – not to mention the typical Cannes glitterati.
So, it looks as though the celebrities and media will still be out in force even though many thought that the festival would be lower key than usual due to the current economic climate.