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The Cannes jury at the opening ceremony.
The 62nd annual Cannes Film Festival ends SundayImage: AP

Cannes Film Festival

May 24, 2009

The world's most prestigious film festival ends today in Cannes, France, but the race for the competition's coveted Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) for best film is still wide open.

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No one film is a shoo-in for best film this year as the 62nd Cannes Film Festival comes to a close, although the festival has showcased several impressive new films.

Among the contenders is France's "Un Prophete" (A Prophet) by director Jacques Audierd, a well-liked and gripping prison drama, and "Fish Tank" by Britain's Andrea Arnold, the story an unhappy teenager.

New Zealand-born Jane Campion, who won the festival's highest honor 16 years ago for "The Piano", is hoping to do so again with her film "Bright Star". The biopic recounts the love story of Romantic poet John Keats and his neighbor Fanny Brawne.

German stories and stars at Cannes

Children walking down a village road.
"The White Ribbon" depicts a Germany from almost 100 years agoImage: picture-alliance/ dpa

A film by Austrian director Michael Haneke has also gotten some attention. "Das Weisse Band" (The White Ribbon) is set in rural Germany in the years before World War I and depicts a series of incidents that point to the rise of European fascism.

Quentin Tarantino's much-hyped "Inglourious Basterds" and its Hollywood star Brad Pitt have received mixed reviews, with some saying the film's German and Austrian actors have stolen the show from Pitt.

In the film a group of Jewish American WWII soldiers in occupied France seek revenge against the Nazis. The violent flick uses English, French and German and was filmed in Germany.

Til Schweiger and Daniel Bruehl, who have both seen some success in Hollywood, were among 45 German actors with roles in the film.

Effect of the economy visible at festival

Cannes is typically known for its glitz and glamour as international movie stars and directors descend upon the luxurious French Riviera city, but while Brad Pitt and his partner Angelina Jolie did grace the red carpet with their presence, there was decidedly less late-night revelry and the overall mood was a bit toned down. Both because of the films chosen and penny-pinching studios, there were simply less big name stars.

hf/dpa/Reuters
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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