The five-star palace hotels are in full swing, the sound of music drifts across the beach and after a ‘horrible’ year blighted by the coronavirus crisis, the French resort of Cannes is finally buzzing again as it gears up for its film festival.

“We can’t wait,” said Pierrick Cizeron, chief executive at the Majestic hotel that overlooks the Mediterranean and the festival venue.

Last year the film festival, the world’s biggest, was cancelled because of the pandemic.

With France slowly emerging from a partial lockdown, the 2021 edition was delayed from the usual May date to July 6-17.

The festival is to announce its lineup of Palme d’Or contenders on Thursday, with industry insiders speculating on a pick rich in big names.

It is, however, still unclear how many stars will actually make the journey to Cannes, as France still requires non-EU arrivals to quarantine and there is no sign so far that the government will waive that requirement for the prestigious event.

If all goes according to plan, screening venues will be operating at full capacity, but a health pass or a negative PCR test may be required at the door.

Three films are already confirmed for the selection vying for Cannes’s top prize.They are “The French Dispatch” by the American director Wes Anderson — featuring a star-studded cast including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Timothee Chalamet, Adrien Brody, Benicio del Toro and Saoirse Ronan — which follows events at the French foreign news bureau of a Kansas newspaper set in a fictitious 20th-century French city.

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