Inside Move: Moore Cannes-ed heat

Helmer plays it cool as 'Fahrenheit' warms up

DreamWorks and Warner Bros. flew a dozen movie stars to the Cannes Film Festival to generate the first wave of international exposure for their summer tentpoles.

Michael Moore has received as much buzz in Cannes as “Troy” and “Shrek 2” without setting foot on the Croisette.

In the days leading up to opening night, the international press carried a series of stories about Moore’s political hot potato, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which screens in competition May 17.

Last week, after forbidding Miramax Films from distributing the film, Disney gave Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein a greenlight to buy it back. Those developments fanned keen speculation in Cannes about the film’s distribution plans.

Moore, who was in the final stages of mixing the film, has avoided talking much about the pic. He surfaced only to take a few shots at Disney on his Web site, michaelmoore.com (“The Disney spin machine has been working overtime dealing with this censorship debacle of theirs,” he wrote.)

Moore may have concluded that silence was the best PR strategy for this film — at least until it screens.

And that plan seemed to be working. Sources say top distribution execs may have seen the film before the fest, but none would comment.

The hottest acquisition story of Cannes was yet to be written.