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Paris puts pix in spring fling

Thornton's 'Horses,' Pitt's 'Sanam' competing

PARIS — The 16th Paris Film Festival kicks off today with some 60 films to unspool before the close on April 3. Nine of those pics will compete for a $50,000 Grand Jury prize to go toward French distribution.

The thrice Oscar-nominated director Ettore Scola will head a mostly Italian jury. Competitors include Billy Bob Thornton’s “All the Pretty Horses” and Iranian director Rafi Pitt’s “Sanam.”

The Paris Film Fest drew 80,000 moviegoers last year; organizers hope to up that to 100,000 this year.

Other prizes up for grabs include the Carte Noire prize for short films and the Press prize for non-competition films seeking French distribs.

Fest is 40% funded by the Paris City Hall and the Centre National de la Cinematographie, with the rest coming from private sponsors such as Carte Noire, Itineris and LCI.

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