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Crowe and Cate to sparkle at Cannes

Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett were expected to lend some Hollywood glamour as the 63rd Cannes Film Festival opened today.

Crowe, stars in Robin Hood, teamed up once again with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for the retelling of the myth, which will screen out of competition. Blanchett co-stars as Maid Marian.

Other highlights of the 12-day festival include Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger and Oliver Stone's Wall Street -- Money Never Sleeps, both of which will also be shown out of competition.

The world-famous French Riviera festival will have one of the strongest Irish presences in recent years.

Excited Irish Film Board chief executive Simon Perry described the event as "the most important event in the calendar for the film industries of the world".

This year marks the first time in three years that an Irish movie has been chosen for the prestigious Directors' Fortnight event, which runs from tomorrow to May 23.

The critically acclaimed thriller All Good Children, starring Jack Gleeson, marks the directorial debut for Alicia Duffy and will have its world premiere in Cannes next Wednesday.

The festival is considered the most important film market in the world in order to source finance for upcoming feature films, and provides an opportunity for Irish producers to meet international film financiers, sales agents and film distributors.

Another Irish film ambassador will be One Hundred Mornings producer Katie Holly from Blinder Films, who has been selected as one of the 23 film producers for the European Film Promotion's Producers on the Move programme.