Poitier opens Cannes fest


US actor Sidney Poitier officially opened the 59th Cannes Film Festival on May 17 as the cast of The Da Vinci Code led a galaxy of stars.

“As I stand here in this atmosphere where the genuis of so many of the world’s great cinema auteurs still lingers, I am honoured in the extreme and privileged beyond words to welcome the present generation... who will surely come with a genius of their own,” the 79-year-old actor said.

Earlier Da Vinci director Ron Howard and costars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou set the cameras whirring as they gathered on the Cannes Croisette.

Thousands had gathered for a glimpse of the stars, including the members of the Cannes jury headed this year by Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai. Wong addressed the opening of the festival and wished everyone a “bon festival”.

“I’m here tonight without any agenda,” he said. “We are here tonight for the

appreciation of the cinema... we are looking for films that move us and engage us.” — AFP