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The 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival has kicked off with a tribute to veteran American actor Michael Douglas, who received an honorary Palme d’Or at the age of 78. However, the festival has also been marred by controversy surrounding Johnny Depp’s portrayal of King Louis XV in “Jeanne du Barry,” a period film that opened the festival. Depp’s role has received support from the festival organization and fans, but has also been met with repudiation from more than a hundred French professionals.

Gender discrimination, labor disputes in Hollywood, and complaints of all kinds loom over Cannes, with some film workers protesting against the invitation of individuals accused of violence against others. Not only has Depp been embroiled in controversy, but “Jeanne du Barry” director and star Maïwenn has also been accused of assault by a well-known French journalist, Edwy Plenel.

Amid the controversies, the festival aims to bridge the gap between veteran filmmakers and performers and their replacements. Besides Douglas, other actors in their eighties, including Harrison Ford, Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodóvar, and Ken Loach, will be presenting their latest works at Cannes. The festival also serves as a platform for emerging filmmakers, such as young Franco-Senegalese Ramata-Toulaye Sy with her debut film “Banel e Adama.”

With 21 films competing for the Palme d’Or, Cannes promises to be a showcase of a diverse array of cinema, ranging from Marco Bellocchio’s “Rapito,” a work set in mid-19th century Italy, to Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” which features an impressive cast including Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, and Margot Robbie.

As the festival continues until May 27th, controversies are likely to surface, such as those surrounding the filming of “Le retour,” which allegedly went too far in staging a story of sex between adolescents. Despite the challenges, Cannes remains one of the most prestigious events in the film industry, providing a platform for established and emerging artists to showcase their talents and perspectives.

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