CANNES WATCH: Lupita, Kendall wow; Amy, MJ sell

The Associated Press

CANNES, France (AP) — The Associated Press is all over the Cannes Film Festival — from its glitzy premieres to the celeb parties and quirky moments in between. Here’s what reporters have seen and heard:

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LUPITA NYONG’O STUNS AT CALVIN KLEIN

Glowing Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o shone bright at the Calvin Klein celebration of Women In Film event in Cannes. She wore a shimmering blue Calvin Klein strapless dress with a slashed bodice styled with silver sandals. To complement that look, the “12 Years a Slave” star wore enviable teardrop cut out crystal earrings. During the exclusive event, she hung out with fellow WIF attendees Julianne Moore, Rooney Maara and Naomi Watts.

– By Thomas Adamson — http://www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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PARAMOUNT BUYS ADAMS SCI-FI THRILLER

One of the hottest properties in Cannes has been acquired by Paramount Pictures.

Paramount has purchased the North America and China distribution rights for “Story of Your Life,” a sci-fi thriller to star Amy Adams. Directing is Denis Villeneuve, the Canadian filmmaker who made last year’s kidnapping thriller “Prisoners” and the 2010 Oscar-nominated, French-language mystery “Incendies.”

Based on a short story by science-fiction writer Ted Chiang, “Story of Your Life” is about a linguist (to be played by Adams) recruited by the military to translate invading aliens. It’s being produced and financed by FilmNation Entertainment in partnership with Lava Bear Films.

Paramount, which said it expects to release the film in 2016, paid $20 million for the rights to the film, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

– By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle — http://twitter.com/jake_coyle

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GONG LI DOUBLING UP

Gong Li is a participant at Cannes, but next month, she’ll have higher profile role at a film festival closer to home.

The Chinese actress will head up the jury at the 17th annual Shanghai Film Festival, which begins June 14. She said she agreed to it reluctantly because she fears she may get too emotional.

“It is a respect to a film, to a piece of art work. However, it can only be given to one person. So when you’re judging the award, you feel bad, because I, too, am in the business,” she said Thursday. “So I hope when I’m the president of the jury, I can pull it together and not be so emotional.”

Here at Cannes, she won’t have to deal with such weighty matters. She is a L’Oreal ambassador and also has a film showing out of competition here.

“Coming Home” reunites her with Chinese director Zhang Yimou, with whom she made some of her most notable films like “Raise the Red Lantern,” ”The Story of Qiu Ju” and “To Live.” Gong plays an amnesia patient whose husband returns home after years of being away in prison.

Gong said it was one of her most challenging roles: “If everyone can relate to this character, then I would have succeeded as an actor, but it was very, very hard to portray.”

The film premieres at Cannes on Tuesday.

– By Angela Y. Chen

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KENDALL JENNER WOWS

As France is electrified with buzz of a possible Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wedding in the country this month, sister of the bride-to-be Kendall Jenner has taken the other side of the country by storm in Cannes.

The tall, raven-haired 18-year-old wowed crowds in the French Riviera, hitting the red carpet Wednesday for the “Grace of Monaco” premiere in a black-and-white Chanel silk crepe dress from the cruise collection.

The TV reality star and aspiring actress would conveniently be able to whizz up the country to attend if her more famous sister weds in Paris, as is rumored.

– By Thomas Adamson — http://www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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MICHAEL JACKSON DOC SOLD

A documentary chronicling Michael Jackson in his last years has been acquired at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Michael: The Last Photo Shoots” follows the late superstar as he prepared for his ill-fated comeback. It features interviews with his photographers as well as stylists and friends.

Renowned photographer Bruce Weber photographed Jackson in 2007 for the re-release of “Thriller” on its 25th anniversary, and celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston shot him the same year for Ebony magazine, his first U.S. magazine interview in years.

Lightning Entertainment has acquired the international sales rights. Its executive vice president, Ken Dubow, said in a statement Thursday that the documentary will provide fans with “a rare behind-the-scenes look into his life.”

Jackson died shortly before his London comeback concerts in 2009. “Xscape,” a second posthumous album, was released this week.

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EDITOR’S NOTE — “Cannes Watch” shows you the Cannes Film Festival and the events surrounding it through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across Cannes and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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