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Factbox: Cannes film festival

(Reuters) - Cannes Film Festival announced on Thursday its 2012 competition lineup.
/ Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Cannes Film Festival announced on Thursday its 2012 competition lineup.

The festival opens on May 16 with Wes Anderson's 1960s drama "Moonrise Kingdom", starring Bruce Willis and Bill Murray, organizers have said.

Here is a look at the Cannes film festival:


-- Originally conceived in 1939 as an alternative to the Fascist-influenced Venice film festival, Cannes has been held annually since 1946, apart from 1948 and 1950 when lack of funds led to its cancellation.

-- In 1949, the stars arrived: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Norma Shearer, Errol Flynn and Edward G. Robinson all appeared that year. Brigitte Bardot made her first appearance in 1953.

-- A year later, starlet Simone Silva dropped her bikini top beside Robert Mitchum in front of the photographers, resulting in the kind of racy coverage that secured the festival's reputation.

-- In 1960, the first Cannes Market opened its doors to some 10 participants and one screen -- a canvas hung from the roof of the old Palais Croisette. It quickly became a major meeting point for buyers and sellers from all over the world.

-- In 1968, film director Louis Malle, who was on that year's jury with Roman Polanski among others, was one of a group of film-makers who forced the festival to close in the midst of the student and worker uprisings across France. After an all-night debate marked by raging tempers and occasional fistfights, the organizers called it off.

-- Jane Campion became the first female director to win the Palme d'Or in 1993 for her film "The Piano".

-- In 1997, a "Palme des Palmes" -- a super-version of the Palme d'Or best film prize -- was awarded to Ingmar Bergman for the 50th festival. The Swedish director did not appear.

-- In 2004, an actors' masterclass (Lecon d'acteur) was created and inaugurated by Max Von Sydow.


-- Terrence Malick won the Palme d'Or for "The Tree of Life", but the 2011 festival will be remembered above all for the shock expulsion of Danish director Lars Von Trier for his Hitler jokes.

-- The notoriously provocative Von Trier, presenting his movie "Melancholia", launched into a monologue at a press conference during which he joked he was a Nazi, sympathized with Hitler and declared Israel a "pain in the ass." Von Trier apologized, but it was too little too late. Cannes did, however, allow Melancholia to remain in competition.

-- Best actor went to Jean Dujardin for "The Artist", and Denmark's Nicolas Winding Refn won best director for his high-octane thriller "Drive". Kirsten Dunst picked up the best actress award for her role in "Melancholia".

Sources: Reuters/

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)