Jeunet's 'Amelie' to play outdoors at fest

LONDON — Cannes is going open air.

The festival will host an under-the-stars screening of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Amelie of Montmartre” (“Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain”) on May 13 in the park area close to the Palais. The event will be free to the general public.

“I want Cannes to have a lighter, more joyous feel,” new artistic director Thierry Fremaux told Daily Variety. “I love the atmosphere of a festival like Telluride, which is one of the best in the world, and we thought open-air screenings would be a way of bringing a more relaxed, human face to Cannes.”

Many festivals, from Locarno and Telluride to Montreal and Pusan, already have open-air screenings as part of their schedules.

“Amelie,” which opens in France on Wednesday with 400 prints, has generated good buzz and thumbs-up advance reviews from French critics.

A fantasy/romance centering on a young woman (Audrey Tautou) in search of a Prince Charming, pic is the first in five years from Jeunet (“Delicatessen,” “Alien: Resurrection”). In 1995, his “The City of Lost Children” opened the Cannes Intl. Film Festival.

Miramax will distribute the pic in the U.S.

Vietnam War feature in fest

Also, a 40-minute promo reel of the first feature about the Vietnam War actually made in Vietnam will unspool during the Cannes Film Festival.

Norwegian sales outfit BV Intl. Pictures will show excerpts of Jonathan Foo and Ngyuen Phan Quang Binh’s “Song of the Stork,” about five North Vietnamese soldiers.

Previous Vietnam war epics, including Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” were filmed in Thailand or the Philippines.

“Song of the Stork” is also the first Singaporian-Vietnamese co-production from Singapore’s MegaMedia. BV Intl. Pictures represents the film worldwide.

(Jorn Rossing Jensen contributed to this report)

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