Behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Festival

An affectionate Ukrainian journalist, an Indian porn director flogging the tale of the Malaysian Airlines plane and Harvey Weinstein turning up late for "Grace of Monaco" première, are just some of the behind the scenes happenings at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Festival
Nicole Kidman arrives for the première of "Grace of Monaco". Photo: AFP

Behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday:

HE WON'T BE INVITED AGAIN: He just loves celebrities — so much so that he wants to hug them.

And that's exactly what a 26-year-old Ukrainian journalist did when he burst onto the red carpet Friday night, threw himself to the ground and put his hands round "Ugly Betty" actress America Ferrera's ankles for a few seconds.

Celebrity prankster Vitalii Sediuk, clad in a tuxedo, was rapidly escorted out by security officials and taken to the police station, and the US actress continued her walk up the steps.

While police refuse to reveal his identity, they say the man has a long record of ankle-grabbing and hugging, having already vented his affection on Will Smith, Madonna, British singer Adele and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The chances are he won't be invited to the Cannes Film Festival again next year…

TOO EARLY FOR COMFORT? It seems the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people on board is already being used as fodder for a new film.

Advertised on the back of the Hollywood Reporter entertainment-trade magazine, "The Vanishing Act" features a plane rising out of the clouds under the caption "The untold story of the missing Malaysian plane."

The film is being promoted by Indian film director Rupesh Paul, the man behind erotic movie "Kamasutra 3D".

His personal website says Paul "redefines all-round talent" and "his free spirit has been prized and puzzled by many."

WHERE'S GRACE? Harvey Weinstein finally made it to Cannes after a trip with his wife Georgina Chapman to Syrian refugee camps in Jordan.

The Hollywood mogul was pointedly absent from the world première of "Grace of Monaco" on Wednesday, the festival's much-maligned opening film that he is distributing in the United States.

Weinstein has feuded with French director Olivier Dahan over the final version of the film, and while they finally reached an agreement this week to distribute the director's edit, it looks like Harvey is less than happy with the movie.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Grace of Monaco" was conspicuously missing from the film mogul's preview of The Weinstein Co.'s upcoming slate presented at the luxury Majestic Hotel.

Cornered by reporters, he admitted "that the Monaco royal family, which has objected to the film, has a 'legitimate problem' with the movie", suggesting there was an unspecified scene he would like to add back into the movie that would address their concerns.

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Cannes Film Festival postponed to July due to Covid

The Cannes Film Festival has been rescheduled for July 6th to 17th - postponed by around two months due to the ongoing virus crisis, organisers said on Wednesday.

Cannes Film Festival postponed to July due to Covid
The 2018 Palme d'Or winner Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda posing for the cameras at the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual highlight for movie lovers in France. Photo: AFP

“As announced last autumn, the Festival de Cannes reserved the right to change its dates depending on how the global health situation developed,” they said in a statement.

“Initially scheduled from 11th to 22nd May 2021, the Festival will therefore now take place from Tuesday 6th to Saturday 17th July 2021.”

The festival was cancelled last year, while rival European events in Berlin and Venice went ahead under strict health restrictions.

The Berlin Film Festival, which usually kicks off in February, said last month it would run this year's edition in two stages, an online offering for industry professionals in March and a public event in June.

France has closed all cinemas, theatres and show rooms alongside cafés, bars and restaurants as part of its Covid-19 health measures and the government has pushed back their reopening date until further notice due to rising levels of viral spread across the country.

The Cannes festival normally attracts some 45,000 people with official accreditations, of whom around 4,500 are journalists.

It had only been cancelled once before, due to the outbreak of war in 1939.

Its Film Market, held alongside the main competition, is the industry's biggest marketplace for producers, distributors, buyers and programmers.

Last year, the festival still made an official selection of 56 films – including the latest offerings from Wes Anderson, Francois Ozon and Steve McQueen – allowing them to use the “Cannes official selection” label.