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Cannes Film Festival to kick off Wednesday

A picture shows the official poster of the 65th Cannes film festival featuring late Marilyn Monroe on May 14, 2012 near the Festival's Palace in Cannes. David Cronenberg, Ken Loach and Michael Haneke are among the 22 international film-makers vying for the Palme d'Or award at the 65th anniversary edition of the leading world cinema showcase which runs from May 16 to 27.
LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages
A picture shows the official poster of the 65th Cannes film festival, featuring the late Marilyn Monroe, on May 14, 2012 near the Festival's Palace in Cannes.
LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages

(CBS/AP) The Cannes Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, and the city on the Mediterranean is preparing for a flashy star-studded red carpet.

This year's festival, the 65th edition of the gathering, will see plenty of celebrated stars and directors, including esteemed international filmmakers Abas Kiarostami and Michael Hankee, and actors Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman.

Among the 22 films in competition, there's a particularly large American contingent, starting with the opening night film, Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom." The movie about adolescent love on the run brings a few new actors (Bruce Willis and Edward Norton) to Anderson's carefully orchestrated world.

While some films will be looking for distribution, others will seek to benefit from the global convergence of media like the upcoming DreamWorks animation blockbuster "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," which will screen out of competition, and "The Dictator." The festival will also host a fundraiser for several Haiti charities, including Sean Penn's.

Whereas Penn and Pitt are familiar favorites at Cannes, this year's festival includes a new crop of young actors seeking more adventurous work, including Shia LaBeouf, Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson.

Pattinson has previously been to Cannes to promote the "Twilight" film "New Moon" in 2009, but he's clearly thrilled to be a part of the main slate.

"Hopefully, people don't hate it," he says of "Cosmopolis," alluding to Cannes' famously vocal audiences.

Newcomers, though, are outnumbered by veterans this year. More than two-thirds of the directors with films in competition have previously had films at the festival.

The festival runs through May 27.