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69th Cannes Film Festival begins in France

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PARIS — The 69th Cannes Film (Festival de Cannes) officially commenced on Wednesday evening in the southern French sea resort of Cannes.

Following the red carpet where the jury and the crew of the opening film were presented to the grand public, the opening ceremony, hosted by French comedian Laurent Lafitte, took place in the Palace of the Festival.

This year’s opening film was chosen to be Woody Allen’s latest film ‘Cafe Society’. Having already opened the festival twice, ‘Hollywood Ending’ in 2002 and ‘Midnight in Paris’ in 2011, Woody Allen has opened three times the festival, according to Xinhua. The film, starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, tells the story of a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry, falls in love, and finds himself swept up in the vibrant cafe society that defined the spirit of the age.

This is also the 14th ‘Out of Competition’ selection at Cannes for the American director, screenwriter, actor, writer and comedian. When asked about why he doesn’t participate in the main competition, Allen said: “I don’t believe in competition for artistic things.

It’s all very subjective”. As for the jury of the main competition, it is composed of nine people, headed by Australian film director George Miller whose ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was premiered during last year’s festival.

Heavily criticised for the lack of women’s presence in the festival, this year’s jury includes four females, actress Kirsten Dunst from the US, producer Katayoon Shahabi from Iran, actress and director Valeria Golino from Italy, and French actress Vanessa Paradis.

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, who starred ‘Hunger Games’ and Chinese movie ‘Da Waner’ (directed by Feng Xiaogang), is also among the jury.

A total of 21 films, including three Asian films, were selected among the 1869 films in April to compete for the top prize Palme d’Or of this annual film event. According to the figures of the organiser, about 40,000 film industry professionals are participating in this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including 4,500 journalists from around the world.

The 69th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) runs from May 11 to 22 in Cannes.

IANS

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Tourist arrivals jumped 73.5 percent in July

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KATHMANDU — Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in the month of July, according to statistics released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The NTB said that this increment is because of a sharp increase in the number of travellers from countries like India, China, the US and the UK. The growth in the numbers has also been attributed to Indian pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, via Nepal.

The statistics show that Nepal received a whopping 73,285 international tourists in July—a time of the year that is considered to be an off-season for tourists due to the monsoons. With July’s figures, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal in the first seven months (January–July) of 2018 reached 593,299, which is an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Total 18,385 Indian tourists visited Nepal via air transport, which is up 80.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

After India, Nepal received the highest number of visitors from China. The Chinese tourist numbers have more than doubled to 13,123 in the month of July. This is a 125.4 percent growth in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

Overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a growth of 66 percent, in comparison to the same month last year. However, arrivals from Bangladesh declined by nine percent. Arrivals from rest of the Asian countries have also recorded a robust growth of 86.2 percent.

Visitors from Japan and South Korea to Nepal also increased by 36 percent and 21.9 percent respectively.

Likewise, an overall increase of 54.1 percent in July has been recorded from European source markets. However, arrivals from Austria declined by 72.6 percent.

The number of visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 79.6 percent and 73.3 percent respectively.

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