The Cannes film festival is underway in France and this year it is being held on a more serious note and amid some controversy.
The Cannes film festival is underway in France and this year it is being held on a more serious note and amid some controversy. Traditionally the event is the mecca of scantily-dressed starlets and show business extravagance.
American and Italian films are vying for to honours in the now highly-considered market, which has become the film industry's major market place.
Long gone are the days when would-be film goddesses peeled off their clothes on Cannes beach in an effort to catch the eyes of some famous director.
But the festival, which lasts until 28 May, retains some of its jamboree atmosphere with everyone who is anyone in the industry at least making a fleeting appearance.
The controversy surrounding this year's festival centres on the French and British entries in the feature film competition.
The French are angry because tow of their three entries are the work of foreign directors -- Polish-born Roman Polanski and American Joseph Losey.
Britain was almost absent from the festival altogether because the Cannes authorities at first refused to accept the only British film offered for competition, "Bugsy Malone", a first picture by Alan Parker. After almost endless discussion the film was allowed in.
A total of 46 films are being presented in three sections. Twenty are entered in the coveted Grand Prix and 26 others are being shown either in the art or the new documentary sections.