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Zelenskyy opens Cannes Film Festival, links war and cinema

Signage for the 75th Cannes international film festival is seen prior to the start of the festival in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 16, 2022. T...
Crew members install the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals ahead of the opening day of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fra...
People walk along the Croisette prior to the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 16, 2022.The Cannes film festival ...
An installation for the film "Top Gun: Maverick" is seen at The Grand Hotel during preparations for the 75th international film festival, Cannes, sout...
Festival workers pull the official poster into place at the Grand Theatre Lumiere during preparations for the 75th international film festival, Cannes...
Emilia Schule poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fes...
Urvashi Rautela poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film f...
Tallia Storm poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...
Jury member Deepika Padukone, right, poses with jury president Vincent Lindon, left and Noomi Rapace at the photo call for the jury at the 75th intern...
Jury member Deepika Padukone, from left, jury president Vincent Lindon, jury members Rebecca Hall, and Ladj Ly speak at the press conference for the j...
Didier Allouch, from left, jury members Jeff Nichols, Jasmine Trinca, Joachim Trier, Deepika Padukone, jury president Vincent Lindon, jury members Reb...
Forest Whitaker poses for photographers at the photo call honoring him with a Palme d'Or at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fra...
The Palme d'Or is displayed at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invisio...
Jury president Vincent Lindon, center, poses with jury members Jeff Nichols, from left, Noomi Rapace, Asghar Farhadi, Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, ...
Jury president Vincent Lindon poses for photographers at the photo call for the jury at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France,...
Jury members Deepika Padukone, right, and Noomi Rapace pose for photographers at the photo call for the jury at the 75th international film festival, ...
Katherine Langford poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international fil...
Eva Longoria poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...
Eva Longoria poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...
Jury members Deepika Padukone, left, and Rebecca Hall pose for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final ...
Jury president Vincent Lindon, center, poses with jury members Deepika Padukone, from left, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Jasmine Trinca, Joachim Trie...
Forest Whitaker poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film f...
Eva Longoria poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...
Rossy de Palma poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fe...
Lashana Lynch poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fes...
Julianne Moore poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fe...
Lashana Lynch poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fes...
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fran...
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fran...
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, from left, Romain Duris, Finnegan Oldfield, director Michel Hazanavicius, and Berenice Bejo pose for photographers upon arri...

Signage for the 75th Cannes international film festival is seen prior to the start of the festival in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 16, 2022. T...

Crew members install the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals ahead of the opening day of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fra...

People walk along the Croisette prior to the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 16, 2022.The Cannes film festival ...

An installation for the film "Top Gun: Maverick" is seen at The Grand Hotel during preparations for the 75th international film festival, Cannes, sout...

Festival workers pull the official poster into place at the Grand Theatre Lumiere during preparations for the 75th international film festival, Cannes...

Emilia Schule poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fes...

Urvashi Rautela poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film f...

Tallia Storm poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...

Jury member Deepika Padukone, right, poses with jury president Vincent Lindon, left and Noomi Rapace at the photo call for the jury at the 75th intern...

Jury member Deepika Padukone, from left, jury president Vincent Lindon, jury members Rebecca Hall, and Ladj Ly speak at the press conference for the j...

Didier Allouch, from left, jury members Jeff Nichols, Jasmine Trinca, Joachim Trier, Deepika Padukone, jury president Vincent Lindon, jury members Reb...

Forest Whitaker poses for photographers at the photo call honoring him with a Palme d'Or at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fra...

The Palme d'Or is displayed at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invisio...

Jury president Vincent Lindon, center, poses with jury members Jeff Nichols, from left, Noomi Rapace, Asghar Farhadi, Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, ...

Jury president Vincent Lindon poses for photographers at the photo call for the jury at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France,...

Jury members Deepika Padukone, right, and Noomi Rapace pose for photographers at the photo call for the jury at the 75th international film festival, ...

Katherine Langford poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international fil...

Eva Longoria poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...

Eva Longoria poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...

Jury members Deepika Padukone, left, and Rebecca Hall pose for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final ...

Jury president Vincent Lindon, center, poses with jury members Deepika Padukone, from left, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Jasmine Trinca, Joachim Trie...

Forest Whitaker poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film f...

Eva Longoria poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fest...

Rossy de Palma poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fe...

Lashana Lynch poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fes...

Julianne Moore poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fe...

Lashana Lynch poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film 'Final Cut' at the 75th international film fes...

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fran...

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fran...

Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, from left, Romain Duris, Finnegan Oldfield, director Michel Hazanavicius, and Berenice Bejo pose for photographers upon arri...

CANNES, France (AP) — The 75th Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday with an eye turned to Russia's war in Ukraine and a live satellite video address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who called on a new generation of filmmakers to confront dictators as Charlie Chaplin satirized Adolf Hitler.

After tributes and musical numbers, Zelenskyy was streamed live for the formally attired audience who had gathered for the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius' zombie comedy “Final Cut."

Zelenskyy, dressed in his signature olive green shirt, drew a thunderous standing ovation and and spoke at length about the connection between cinema and reality. He referenced films like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” as not unlike Ukraine’s present circumstances.

Zelenskyy quoted Chaplin's final speech in “The Great Dictator,” which was released in 1940, in the early days of World War II: “The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”

“We need a new Chaplin who will demonstrate that the cinema of our time is not silent,” implored Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian president pushed filmmakers not to “stay silent” while hundreds continue to die in Ukraine, the largest war in Europe since WWII, and show that cinema “is always on the side of freedom.”

The war is to be a regular presence in Cannes, where the festival has barred Russians with ties to the government from attending this year. Set to screen are several films from prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary “The Natural History of Destruction.” Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius before he was killed in Mariupol in April will also be shown by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

Even “Final Cut," the latest film from “The Artist” filmmaker Hazanavicius, was renamed from its original title, “Z,” after Ukrainian protesters noted that the letter Z to some symbolizes support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Formally attired stars including Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Bérénice Bejo and “No Time to Die” star Lashana Lynch were among those who streamed down Cannes' famous red carpet Tuesday. More star-studded premieres — “Top Gun: Maverick!" “Elvis!" — await over the next 12 days, during which 21 films will vie for the festival's prestigious top award, the Palme d'Or.

But Tuesday's opening and the carefully choreographed red-carpet parade leading up the steps to the Grand Théâtre Lumiére again restored one of the movies' grandest pageants after two years of pandemic that have challenged the exalted stature Cannes annually showers on cinema.

“Dear friends, let’s come out of this dark together,” said opening ceremony host Virginie Efira.

After last year requiring regular COVID-19 testing and masks in theaters — and no kisses on the red carpet — Cannes has largely done away with pandemic protocols. Masks are recommended inside but are rarely worn.

Cannes presented an honorary Palme d’Or to Forest Whitaker, who received a standing ovation. Whitaker, who won best actor at Cannes 34 years ago for his performance as Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood’s “Bird,” said that while ascending the steps to the Palais des Festivals on Tuesday, he could still hear chants of “Clint! Clint!” ringing in his ears. Eastwood is one of few others who have been awarded an honorary Palme.

On Tuesday, Cannes also unveiled the jury that will award the Palme d'Or. French actor Vincent Lindon is leading a jury that includes Deepika Padukone, Rebecca Hall, Asghar Farhadi, Trinca, Ladj Ly, Noomi Rapace, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.

Questions of gender equality have long surrounded the Cannes Film Festival, where no more than five female filmmakers have ever been a part of the Palme competition lineup and only two women directors have won it. On Monday, Fremaux defended the festival, arguing that it selects films purely on the basis of quality. Hall, who last year made her directorial debut with the film “Passing,” was asked about her opinion on Cannes' record.

“I believe that it is a work in progress. I mean for the whole film industry, not just the Cannes Film Festival," replied Hall. “The way of dealing with these things needs to be addressed on a grassroots level as well. It’s not just the festivals or public-facing situations. It’s about all the minutiae of what goes into the industry at large."

Farhadi, the Oscar-winning Iranian director, also spoke for the first time about an ongoing plagiarism suit regarding his previous film, “A Hero,” which won the Grand Prix in Cannes last year. A former film student of Farhadi's, Azadeh Masihzadeh, has accused him of stealing the idea of the film from a 2018 documentary she made in a workshop taught by Farhadi.

Speaking at length, Farhadi said “A Hero” was not based on the documentary.

“It was based on a current event so this documentary and this film are based on an event that happened two years prior to the workshop,” said Farhadi. "When an event takes place and is covered by the press, then it becomes public knowledge and you can do what you like about the event. You can write a story or make a film about the event. You can look up the information on this event. ‘A Hero’ is just one interpretation of this event.”

At the tradition-upholding Cannes, the world's largest and most glitzy temple to film, cinema, controversy and glamour swirl together in a 12-day spectacle of red carpet premieres and rampant movie deal-making up and down the Croisette. Theatrical release is a requirement of any film vying for the Palme, which has prevented streaming services from playing a big role at Cannes.

But this year, one new festival partner — TikTok — has raised some eyebrows. The festival is hosting TikTok creators from around the world and holding a separate contest for best (very short) videos created during the festival. Thierry Fremaux, artistic director of Cannes, granted TikTok wasn't the future of cinema.

"The cinema remains the final art," said Fremaux.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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For more Cannes Film Festival coverage, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/cannes-film-festival