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Cannes braces for glitz fest

Cannes is gearing up for the 2006 film festival as a host of A-list stars jet in for a 12-day orgy of glitz and glamour.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 18:43 IST

Cannes is gearing up for the 2006 film festival as a host of A-list stars jet in for a 12-day orgy of glitz and glamour, with hotels booked solid and luxury yachts jostling for harbour space.

As case-loads of champagne and caviar arrive in the southern French resort to wine and dine thousands of industry stars, hoteliers and restauranteurs are making sure everything is ready for Wednesday's grand opening.

This year's screening of the hotly-awaited film The Da Vinci Code to open the 59th festival has ensured the usual media scrum will reach fever pitch, with this once small fishing village set to be headline news around the world.

For the resort's businesses it's all good news, coupled with the fact that this year's festival, which lasts until May 28, is one day longer than usual.

This could be "a very good year, served by numerous stars and a balanced selection over the two weeks," said Michel Chevillon, president of the Cannes hotel association.

"For the luxury hotels and palaces these days represent some 80 per cent of turnover for the month and 15 per cent for the year," he added.

Among the stars expected here are Monica Bellucci, Helena Bonham Carter, Penelope Cruz, Kirsten Dunst, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, The Rock and Sarah Michelle Gellar to name but a few.

Bars, hotels and even estate agents are doubling their staff for the two weeks which Chevillon estimated could bring in some 150 million euros to the resort.