Varda to give 'Lecon de Cinema'

PARIS — The Cannes Intl. Film Festival is growing longer. While this year’s event will run from May 10-21, fest organizers announced Monday that they will host two days of pre-fest industry discussions (May 9 and 10) devoted to assessing the impact of new technology on the film business.

Debates, over which Gallic actress Isabelle Huppert will preside, “are intended to be truly international,” a fest spokeswoman told Daily Variety. “The nature of such new technology as the Internet crosses borders and concerns every filmmaking country.”

Fest president Gilles Jacob expects some 40 speakers for the discussions, including thesps and industry execs. Jacob’s team isn’t saying who has accepted invites to participate, “but the response has already been very positive,” a Cannes rep noted.

Little by little, Jacob has been lifting the veil on some of the events at Cannes 2000. Apart from the technology debates, Jacob has invited Agnes Varda to give the now traditional “Lecon de Cinema,” in which the writer-director will describe some of the key moments of her career.

Fest is also paying tribute to Spanish director Luis Bunuel, who would have been 100 this year. Cannes attendees will see a special screening of “Viridiana,” which won the Palme d’Or in 1961.

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