Lashana Lynch, Forest Whittaker and Eva Longoria among stars at Cannes opening

Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a surprise message at the opening of the 75th annual festival.
Lashana Lynch, Forest Whittaker and Eva Longoria among stars at Cannes opening

By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Hollywood stars including Lashana Lynch, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Eva Longoria and Forest Whittaker were photographed on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered a surprise message at the opening ceremony of the prestigious event.

France Cannes 2022 Opening Ceremony
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony (Vianney Le Caer/AP)

The Ukrainian president told audiences at the 75th annual awards that it was “necessary for cinema not to be silent”, during a message that was translated live into French and given a standing ovation.

The festival is expected to see star-studded premieres for upcoming films including Elvis and Top Gun: Maverick, with Tom Cruise returning to Cannes for the latter for the first time in 30 years.

France Cannes 2022 Opening Ceremony
Forest Whitaker poses with his honorary Palme d’Or (Vianney Le Caer/AP)

The Hollywood A-lister is also due to receive a special tribute to his career ahead of the film’s screening on May 18.

Films starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Kristen Stewart are due to be unveiled at the festival in the south of France.

France Cannes 2022 Opening Ceremony Red Carpet
Eva Longoria arrives at the opening ceremony and the premiere of the film Final Cut (Vianney Le Caer/AP)

Whittaker, who won best actor at Cannes 34 years ago for his performance as Charlie  Parker in Clint Eastwood’s Bird, was presented an honorary Palme d’Or at the opening ceremony.

France Cannes 2022 Opening Ceremony Red Carpet
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Nukaaka Coster-Waldau pose for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Despite being subject to heavy Covid protocols in 2021, this year’s Cannes has largely done away with pandemic measures.

France Cannes 2022 Opening Ceremony Red Carpet
The festival has non-compulsory mask-wearing this year (Dionisia Vasilopoulou/AP)

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