A Blast from the Past, Courtesy of AFP and the Cannes Film Festival

The official poster of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Design ★ Bronx (Paris). DR. Photo © Bettmann/Corbis.

Film. Fashion. Celebrities. Since the Cannes Film Festival first began in 1946, photographers have been on hand to capture high-profile celebs on film, giving everyday Joes a look at actors and directors walking the red carpet and schmoozing with their fellow A-listers. For the 65th annual festival, which kicked off yesterday and runs through May 27th, world news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) has collaborated with the city of Cannes itself for “Cannes fait le mur,” an exhibition showcasing memorable photos of movie stars and directors both past and present walking Cannes’ red carpet.

The pictures selected for the exhibition are of subjects hailing from the Golden Age of Hollywood (Gene Kelly, Ingrid Bergman) to modern-day headline makers like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and include AFP-captured stills of directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino) and international stars (Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni) as well.

Through the exhibition, notes AFP chairman and chief executive Emmanuel Hoog, “The public will be able to relive the magic of seeing stars going up the famous walkway steps, something that every year makes headlines around the world. From unforgettable arrivals to portraits that use the city as a background, the agency photographers capture the grace and pride of the stars and directors that make the Cannes Film Festival such a unique event.”

Each year photo-journalists from AFP, which has been covering the festival since its inception, produce over 6,000 images, many of which have been restored and digitized and are now available via its Image Forum database at www.imageforum.afp.com.

The exhibition will be displayed on walls throughout the city, notably along its rue d’Antibes (Cannes’ number one shopping destination), until June 30, 2012. To view a slideshow of the images in the exhibition, visit www.afp.com/fr/cannes-fait-le-mur-2012.

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