CANNES, France - Stargazers should catch sight of some of Hollywood's biggest stars at the Cannes Film Festival well before "Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen's romance that opens the glamorous event with an evening premiere Wednesday.
On hand to meet reporters and festival-goers earlier in the day will be Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, along with director Allen and some of his cast, which includes Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard.
Opening day of the 12-day cinema showcase also features an honorary award for Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, whose films include 1988 Academy Award best-picture recipient "The Last Emperor."
De Niro, fresh from his own Tribeca Film Festival that wrapped up May 1 in New York City, heads the jury that will award prizes among the 20 films in the Cannes main competition. Thurman and Law join him on the nine-member jury, which also includes Argentine actress Martina Gusman, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas and Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To.
Capitalizing on the horde of international press at Cannes, DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures are bringing in Banderas and Hayek for a photo event and interviews before the festival opens to promote their upcoming animated adventure "Puss in Boots," a spinoff of the "Shrek" franchise.
Also outside of the festival proper, Black, Jolie and Hoffman are coming for interviews on opening day, along with a news conference a day later, for their DreamWorks animated sequel "Kung Fu Panda 2."
Other stars on hand before the festival closes May 22 include Brad Pitt and Sean Penn for Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life"; Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg for Lars von Trier's "Melancholia"; Ryan Gosling for Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive"; and Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."
"It's in Cannes' DNA to attract stars. It's important that our red carpet be 'scarlet,"' said festival managing director Thierry Fremaux. "It's wonderful that we're going to have Woody Allen and Owen Wilson, Sean Penn and Kirsten Dunst, Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. And to have Asian stars, too. And a lovely jury, led by Bob De Niro. What's more, all these people are film lovers and are going to turn Cannes into a wonderful party for the cinema."