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Cannes Film Festival Opens with Diverse Selection

Workers unroll red carpet before opening of 58th Film Festival in Cannes, Wednesday
The prestigious Cannes Film Festival has opened with its usual cross-selection of films ranging from small budget efforts to major Hollywood blockbusters.

Twenty-one films will battle in the French Riviera town for the Golden Palm, the festival's top honor, in this year's competition.

Films presented include the love story Three Times by Hou Hsiao Hsien of Taiwan, Shanghai Dreams by Wang Xiaoshuai of China and the drama Free Zone by Israeli Amos Gitai.

Meanwhile, the latest installment of George Lucas' Star Wars saga, Revenge of the Sith, will be featured off-competition at the festival.

As always, an international jury - headed this year by Sarajevo-born Emir Kusturica - will give out the awards. Last year's Golden Palm went to Fahrenheit 9/11, the documentary in which U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore harshly criticized the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.