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Cannes 2024 Video #2: The Festival Takes Off

The Cannes Film Festival is underway, and Chaz Ebert is on the ground to report on every development, including the introduction of the jury, led by Greta Gerwig. Watch the video below, followed by the transcript.

We’re back in the South of France for the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Although it’s not quite Two Weeks in the Midday Sun at the moment. More like Two Days in the Rain.  But the cool and wet weather has not dampened any enthusiasm for everything in store for us as the festival begins.

The poster image for this year’s festival is based on a scene from Rhapsody in August by director Akira Kurosawa and it seems to be reflected in the cool, cloudy climate we’ve been experiencing thus far.

But this year’s jury received a very warm reception at their initial press conference. Led by jury president, Greta Gerwig, this year’s jury is majority female, and they fielded a number of questions about social and political issues relating to the cinema. From France’s growing MeToo movement, to the conflict in Gaza, and the possibility of a strike by film festival workers over low wages. 

I posed a question about how much real-world concerns over these issues will color their thoughts and feelings about the films.

I was very impressed with Ms. Gerwig’s answer and am even more convinced that she’s the perfect person to lead the jury this year. 

Academy Award nominee Lily Gladstone was asked a question about the representation of indigenous people from other parts of the world.

Later that evening the famous Cannes red carpet was rolled out for attendees of the opening ceremony. 

Making their appearances on the red carpet were the Camera d’Or jury headed by French actress Emanuelle Béart and the Un Certain Regard jury headed by French Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan.

It was one of the more emotional opening ceremonies in recent memory. Greta Gerwig expressed her deep gratitude for being appointed president of the jury, and in appreciation of her, the festival staged a tribute to her character in the 2012 film Frances Ha.

After that, the honorary Palme d’Or was presented to legendary actress Meryl Streep, who returned to Cannes for the first time in 35 years. The length and intensity of the standing ovation she received was remarkable. 

A tribute to her career was delivered by French actress Juliette Binoche before Streep was presented with the Palme and both actresses officially opened the festival.

After the ceremony the festival screened the opening night film - The Second Act from director Quentin Dupieux. The film is a French Meta Comedy featuring Lea Seydoux, Louis Garrell and Vincent Lindon, that addresses a number of modern hot-button topics like cancelation and AI. 

That’s it for today, but we’re just getting started. As the week goes on, we’ll be reporting on all the notable films in competition including the latest film from Francis Ford Coppola, George Miller’s Out-Of-Competition prequel "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga," along with all of the hidden gems that Cannes showcases each year. So throughout the festival, be sure to check in at for daily reports by our writers along with our regular video reports. Until then, we’re going to try and stay out of the rain. Bon Journée.

Chaz Ebert

Chaz is the CEO of several Ebert enterprises, including the President of The Ebert Company Ltd, and of Ebert Digital LLC, Publisher of, President of Ebert Productions and Chairman of the Board of The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and Co-Founder and Producer of Ebertfest, the film festival now in its 24th year.

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