PARIS — Faye Dunaway agreed months ago to serve as jury prexy of the 15th Paris Film Festival, which runs March 27-April 3 — but that was before the Academy asked her to give Warren Beatty the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award on March 26. Dunaway will attend the Oscars and fly to Paris the next day.
An American delegation — including Jack Valenti and Bill Backer of the Motion Picture Assn.; producers Rick McCallum and Richard Gladstein; helmers Oliver Stone (whose “Any Given Sunday” will open the fest) and Irvin Kershner; scripter Kevin Williamson; and thesps Sharon Stone and Charlie Sheen — will attend the fest as the first beneficiaries of an annual program to honor other world-class cities. Berlin will follow Los Angeles next year.
Gregory Peck had planned to lead the U.S. contingent but was forced to withdraw March 2 due to a theatrical obligation.
The event, which monopolizes the 1,800 seats of a six-plex on the Champs-Elysees, will show 60 some films from 17 countries. Lone American film in the nine-title competition is Marc Levin’s “White Boys.”
Another innovation this year is the planned installation of celeb signatures in the Champs-Elysees sidewalk.
The event, which began as a way to familiarize schoolchildren with the cinema and related professions, turned competitive four years ago.