A rising star on 'the problems' of being a black actor in France

Far from the red carpet, there are the lesser-known actors who come to Cannes to hustle up contacts and self-promote. We caught up with 30-year-old Tony Mpoudja, who told us about his experience as a black actor in France's very white film industry.

Good mood prevails, even as Anglos compete with bleak tales of sex and death

There's a festive atmosphere outside at Cannes this year. Inside the screening rooms, it's another story, with a pair of Anglophones getting the competition off to a bleak, disturbing start -- with very different results.

Cannes kicks off with a time-travel film by Woody Allen – and it’s good!

Cannes has begun. The proof? Journalists elbowing each other to get into the morning press screening of Woody Allen's “Midnight in Paris” -- and with good reason. The movie is a fresh, fast-moving ode to Paris and the pursuit of fantasy.

Cannes prepares for lift-off -- and 'the Americans are back'

It’s the calm before the (hopefully figurative) storm here in Cannes one day before the festival kicks off. But last-minute preparations are underway, and there's excitement in the air -- especially since this year, the big names are back.

Cannes selection gets political with films from jailed Iranian directors

A rather apolitical-looking Cannes selection got a fierce shot of politics this past weekend, when films from two jailed Iranian directors -- Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof -- were added to the line-up.

Silent French film 'The Artist' a late addition to Cannes competition

An unusual-sounding (as in silent and black-and-white) French film, "The Artist", has been added to the main competition line-up. Meanwhile, "The Beloved", the new movie from hip French auteur Christophe Honoré will close the festival.

Woody, the Sarkozys, and other notables outside the main Cannes line-up

What stands out among films outside the central line-up this year? Woody Allen in Paris (with First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy), President Sarkozy skewered onscreen, a teen romance by Gus Van Sant, and the latest from French heavyweight André Téchiné.

The jury is in

Robert De Niro will be presiding over a typically international jury mixing glamorous actors, well-regarded industry professionals, and a literary figure with a serious film legacy. Will they agree on the winners?

Cannes official selection: Reading between the lines

After a disappointing 2010 edition, hopes are high for Cannes 2011 -- especially since the official competition selection announced last week looks promising. Here are some initial observations, gripes, and pleasant surprises.