Belfast Telegraph

Cannes laps up Cohen's raunchy horseplay and camel stunt

Sacha Baron Cohen, the master of self-publicity has staged a camel stunt and racy yacht brawl to ensure maximum exposure for his new comedy, The Dictator.

The comedian held a press conference outside his hotel, where he was flanked by two female faux-soldiers.

A camel was led to him, which he mounted and rode down the famous Croisette to apparently take in some shopping.

As he slowly made his way down the street, Baron Cohen was mobbed by dozens of photographers, bringing traffic to a halt and drawing the attention of police.

After a short stroll, Baron Cohen turned around and returned to the hotel.

The stunt came on the opening day of the annual French movie extravaganza.

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom" is opening the 65th festival with its premiere, and the director as well as actors Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and possibly Bill Murray are set to make their way down Cannes' grand red carpet this evening.

Earlier, he was spotted on board a luxury yacht at Hotel Du Ca, dressed as Admiral General Aladeen and armed with a machine gun while enjoying some horseplay with supermodel Elisabetta Canalis.

Cannes jury gets down to business

Trainspotting actor Ewan McGregor may offer tips on how to win the coveted Cannes Film Festival main prize today as he discusses his role as part of the jury panel.

The actor joins actress Diane Kruger and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier on the jury at this year's festival in the South of France.

The nine-strong group, which also includes Wuthering Heights director Andrea Arnold, will decide which film wins the coveted Palme d'Or.

American filmmaker Alexander Payne, whose films include Election and Sideways, is also on the jury.

Among the films in the running for the prestigious prize are David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and Walter Salles' adaptation of the Beat Generation novel, On The Road, which features Kristen Stewart alongside Sam Riley and Kirsten Dunst.

Veteran director Ken Loach carries British hopes with his new movie about a small-time criminal who is introduced to the world of high-end whisky distilleries.

The Angels' Share is set in Glasgow and stars newcomer Paul Brannigan, Thick Of It actor Roger Allam and John Henshaw from Early Doors.

Also competing for the prize are The Paper Boy, which stars John Cusack, Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman, Lawless - a prohibition-era tale of bootleggers in the American south starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Guy Pearce, and Jeff Nichols' Mud which stars Reese Witherspoon.

The festival, which runs from May 16 to 27, will open with Wes Anderson's new film Moonrise Kingdom, which stars Tilda Swinton alongside Bruce Willis and Bill Murray and is set in New England in the summer of 1965.

Members of the jury panel will hold a press conference later today discussing their roles as judges of the in-competition films.

The annual event, which attracts art-house filmmakers alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, ended in controversy last year when organisers banned Danish director Lars Von Trier and declared him "persona non grata" after he told a press conference he was a Nazi and could understand Hitler.

Among the jurors last year were Jude Law, Robert De Niro and American actress Uma Thurman.

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