Dear Gilles JACOB, General Delegate, Dear Thierry FRÉMAUX,Dear General Delegate of the Directors' Fortnight, CherFrédéric BOYER,Dear Jean-Christophe BERJON, General Delegate of the Critics' Week,Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends,

I am pleased to be able to gather you here, rue de Valois, in this department.
which is your home, a few days after the announcement of the selection and
dare I say still in the intoxication of happiness- for the teams of the films
selected - to be embarked for this 64 th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
I’m just imagining this happiness because I’ve never experienced it,
but I know that many of you have already known him, and have probably
an unbroken pleasure to know him again.

The spirit of this meeting is to congratulate and thank all those who have
actively contributed to the existence of these films: their directors, their
actors, their technicians, their producers and distributors, the
co-producing television channels, not to mention, of course, the
National Film and Animated Image, whose sparkling
President, Eric Garandeau, who this year will be the first Festival.
And we will obviously be present on May 15 for the traditional cocktail
The CNC in Cannes, which makes it possible to assess the state of the cinema in

On the eve of an event as prestigious and secular as the Festival
International Film, we always have the temptation to lend ourselves to the exercise of
memory, and so I projected myself back 50 years, in 1961. This
André Malraux is credited with having prevented the selection of
"Last year at Marienbad" by Alain Resnais, film yet so much
emblematic of a revival of cinema, since it consecrated the alliance of
the new wave and novel. The greatest ministers have
also the right to error...

A few days ago, I happened to have a rare moment
intensity by going to the shooting of the last film of Alain Resnais,
beautifully titled “You haven’t seen anything yet”…

1961 is also the presence of Jean-Paul Belmondo in two films in
Cannes: alongside the admirable Sophia Loren in “La Ciociara” in
Vittorio de Sica (which is worth the actress the award for female interpretation) and in
another Italian film, “La viaccia” by Mauro Bolognini, alongside Claudia
Cardinale. It was the perfect time when European films didn’t really have
nationality, and for the only homeland the cinema; the actors, whatever their
language of origin, evolved naturally, from one country to another. The 64th
Festival is right to pay tribute this year to this very great
Internationally renowned actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Bernardo Bertolucci will be the other tribute of the Festival, and we all regret
that Maria Schneider is no longer here to share it with him.

The selection of jury chairs is once again remarkable:
the President of the jury, first, Robert De Niro, the one that the French public
appreciates so much, the «companion of the road» of Martin Scorsese, who will know
no doubt mark the jury’s choice of fierce independence.
I also note that Korea is very present this year with the
Bong Joon-Ho for the Golden Camera and Lee Chan Dong,
the author of the magnificent «Poetry», for «Critical Week»
As for Michel Gondry, who chairs the film foundation jury,
the extraordinary film-making facility he designed for the Centre
Pompidou a few weeks ago, designates him naturally for this
new talent discovery function.
Finally, Emir Kusturica, who will preside over the “Un certain regard” jury, in a
remarkable television interview last week said that Cannes
today remains the only event likely to carry a film, which
on the world stage. It is very true and it is infinitely
We can never say enough how much this magical power of fame
is the result of the work of Gilles Jacob, Thierry Frémaux and
teams, as well as parallel sections that also bring their
opening on the world. And I greet in particular the Week of the
critic and his entire team celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011

Once again this year, the selections reflect the diversity of places, of
and creative sources of cinema. I am particularly sensitive to
the presence of countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Japan because I am
convinced of the need to promote the diversity of images and
cinemas, as I recalled on the occasion of the last Fespaco, in
Ouagadougou. I have a special thought on this day for the
population of Burkina Faso that I saw a few weeks ago still cheering
at the closing ceremony of the Festival which brought together an audience
many and joyful in the stadium of Ouagadougou.
The South Cinema Fund certainly contributes to this diversity; but
we must not deprive ourselves of a reflection on other tools. In
offering the world’s views, it’s our own view of the world
It is also one of the Festival’s missions.
I shall have the opportunity to speak on this point in Cannes.

This 64th edition of the festival is also marked by the presence of
big names: from Almodovar to Terence Mallick, from the Dardenne brothers to
Nanni Moretti.

But I wouldn’t want to forget the diversity of French cinema present
in the selection, which you all testify to today, of Alain
Rider, back, 25 years after the moving Thérèse, at the
promising Maiwenn. I can’t quote them all. But your presence
translates the diversity of styles, writings, languages; it
the vitality and diversity of French cinema. Out of competition, you
political life will occupy a significant place in the
French cinema theme!

will also be in the spotlight, with «Cannes classics». The Festival
will pay tribute to Méliès whose 150th anniversary we are celebrating
birth this year, with a very surprising restoration
«Journey to the Moon», and there will also be a
tribute to ultramarine cinema, as part of the year of the overseas.
I would like to end by stressing the visibility of European cinema, with the
presence of talented directors such as the confusing Ari Kaurismaki, the
baroque Paolo Sorrentino, the inimitable Nanni Moretti, the disturbing Lars Von
Sort. During my many trips to Brussels, I have
before my counterparts and the Commissioners in charge
the importance of sustainable and consolidated financing of the
MEDIA programme. The future of cultural diversity in Europe is at stake,
the European ambition in terms of industry and
film creation, which has an immense heritage, a past
film industry, whose role is to ensure
the future and creativity.

Thank you all for accepting this invitation, and really congratulations to everyone.
of you!

Thank you.