Anderson kicks off Cannes festival

American director Wes Anderson kicks off the Cannes Film Festival tonight with a screening of his new film, Moonrise Kingdom.

American director Wes Anderson kicks off the Cannes Film Festival tonight with a screening of his new film, Moonrise Kingdom.

Some of the star-studded cast, which includes Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, are expected to make an appearance on the red carpet at the opening ceremony at the festival’s waterfront setting in the south of France.

The film, which tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love before making a secret pact and running away together, marks a return to the festival for Swinton who appeared last year supporting her critically-acclaimed role in We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Set in New England in 1965, Moonrise Kingdom sees Willis playing the local sheriff, Norton a Khaki Scout troop leader, and Bill Murray appearing alongside Frances McDormand as the young girl’s parents.

Texas-born Anderson, the man behind hits such as The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr Fox, was won over by newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward during an “extensive casting process” and chose them to play the lovelorn couple.

Murray, who also appeared in Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, said: “It’s a really fine script.

“There is an electricity that moves through it.”

The festival is set to see a fair share of big Hollywood names arriving in town with stars such as Twilight actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart going head-to-head for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize with their films Cosmopolis and On The Road.

Also competing is The Paper Boy, which stars John Cusack, Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman; and Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt.

Veteran director Ken Loach will carry British hopes with his new movie about a small-time criminal who is introduced to the world of high-end whisky distilleries.

The winner of the annual festival’s main prize will be decided this year by a jury including Ewan McGregor, actress Diane Kruger and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

The festival, which runs until May 27, ended in controversy last year when organisers banned Danish director Lars Von Trier and declared him “persona non grata” after he told a press conference he was a Nazi and could understand Hitler.

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