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CANNES WATCH: Blanchett dazzles, jokes; Weinstein slate, Ferrera's dress; Watts on directors

From left, producer Bonnie Arnold, actress America Ferrera, actress Cate Blanchett, head of Dreamworks Jeffrey Katzenberg, actor Djimon Hounsou,director Dean Deblois and actor Jay Baruchel leave after the screening of Captives at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

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From left, producer Bonnie Arnold, actress America Ferrera, actress Cate Blanchett, head of Dreamworks Jeffrey Katzenberg, actor Djimon Hounsou,director Dean Deblois and actor Jay Baruchel leave after the screening of Captives at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

CANNES, France - The Associated Press is all over the Cannes Film Festival — from its glitzy premieres to the celeb parties and quirky moments in between. Here's what reporters have seen and heard:

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LOOK OF THE DAY: CATE BLANCHETT

Radiant Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett broke the fashion mould with panache at Friday's "How to Train Your Dragon 2" screening at Cannes in a multi-colored, bejeweled bodice and a chic black pleated floor length chiffon skirt, courtesy of Givenchy.

While Cannes is a mainstay of va-va-voom ball gowns, Blanchett stayed ahead of the fashion pack by thinking outside the box. Her bold look got her noticed for all the right reasons — sapphire chandelier Chopard earrings added a touch of class.

The colorful, tropical plume embellishments on the bust, taken from a fall-winter 2014 ready-to-wear look by Riccardo Tisci, also nicely mirrored the dragon-theme of Dreamworks' latest animated picture, for which she lends her vocal talents.

— By Thomas Adamson — http://www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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WEINSTEIN'S SLATE

Harvey Weinstein's annual Cannes presentation promoted films featuring a buff Jake Gyllenhaal, a Shakespearean Michael Fassbender and an old-school Bill Murray.

Touting upcoming releases to buyers and media, , the Weinstein Co. co-chairman previewed footage Friday that, perhaps most excitingly, included a fiery Fassbender as lead in a stylish "Macbeth," (no release date yet). He also showcased a lean, muscular Gyllenhaal in training scenes from the currently-in-production boxing drama "Southpaw." From "St. Vincent," which hits theatres in October, Murray appears to be in broad comedic form as an outlandish next-door-neighbour to a young boy he reluctantly mentors.

Weinstein arrived in Cannes after his conspicuous absence at the festival's opening night premiere, the Grace Kelly melodrama "Grace of Monaco." Weinstein is to release the film but has feuded about the final cut with the director, Olivier Dahan.

Dahan said Wednesday their differences have been resolved. Weinstein, who promoted "Grace of Monaco" in Cannes last year, said he was on a previously planned humanitarian trip to Jordan during the premiere.

"That was planned long before I even knew that 'Grace' was going to be the opening night in Cannes," Weinstein said.

Naomi Watts ("St. Vincent") and Ryan Reynolds (period romance "Tulip Fever") were on hand for the presentation.

Other notable films previewed included the children's book adaptation "Paddington" (due out in December), Tim Burton's promising-looking "Big Eyes" (opening Christmas), about the painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and the undated "Suite Francaise," a World War II drama set in France starring Michelle Williams.

— By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle — http://twitter.com/jake_coyle

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FERRERA DRESS DIVER

A man rushed onto the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and dove beneath actress America Ferrera's dress.

Security officials quickly pulled the man away as he tried to hide under Ferrera's voluminous dress before the Friday premiere of "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

It was a surprising and rather bizarre development on a red carpet renowned for its strict decorum.

Yet Ferrera didn't seem ruffled on the carpet and was in good spirits at the movie's after-party, laughing with guests and taking pictures.

She declined comment on the incident, however, and festival organizers didn't immediately return messages about the matter.

The former "Ugly Betty" star was on her way into the Palais des Festivals for the world premiere of the DreamWorks animated sequel.

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PHOENIX'S LAST FILM

More than 20 years after his death, River Phoenix's last film is finally getting a release.

Cinemavault announced Friday that it has sold the North American distribution rights of "Dark Blood" to Lionsgate. The film has been in limbo since Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993. He was in production on the movie at the time.

"Dark Blood" was left unfinished and most expected it would never see the light of day. Director and co-writer George Sluizer, however, pushed to complete it, despite spending years battling an insurance company that made a claim about Phoenix's drug use.

In 2012, Sluizer edited together an unfinished version that premiered last year at the Berlin Film Festival.

Lionsgate is planning to release the film on video-on-demand.

In "Dark Blood," Phoenix plays a young widower who retreats to the desert after his wife dies of radiation following nuclear tests near their home.

— By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle — http://twitter.com/jake_coyle

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BLANCHETT THE JOKESTER

Cate Blanchett had plenty of witty replies — a couple on the saucy side — as she answered sometimes wacky questions during a Cannes news conference for the upcoming "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

The two-time Oscar-winner got most of the questions at Friday's event, which also included stars America Ferrera, Jay Baruchel, Djimon Hounsou and DreamWorks co-founder Jeffery Katzenberg.

Some of the queries were a bit off-kilter: One reporter asked if Blanchett let her children play with her trophies.

"Every morning, mommy sits them down, and I get my two Oscars out and I let them stroke them for 15 minutes before they go to school if they are good," she said to laughter.

Another reporter mistakenly called her by the wrong prefix.

"It's Ms. Blanchett, not Mr. Blanchett. I've played a few men though," she quipped.

The biggest laughs came when a reporter asked how was "the experience of training your dragon?"

"How do I train my dragon?" she said naughtily. "I don't know if I want to answer that in public."

"How To Train Your Dragon 2" premiered Friday at the Cannes Film Festival out of competition.

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MALAYSIAN PLANE MOVIE FORTHCOMING

It's not a Hollywood production, but a movie about the Malaysian plane tragedy is in the works and should be in theatres by fall.

Rupesh Paul Productions is promoting "The Vanishing Act" among buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. A poster for it promises to tell "the untold story" of the missing plane, but in an interview Friday, the associate director of the movie, Sritama Dutta, said the only similarities between the thriller and the real-life disaster is that a plane is missing.

"It has got no similarities," said Dutta, adding there have been so many developments with the actual case that it wouldn't be practical to try to mirror it. "We cannot keep up with the true facts, it's changing every day."

Dutta said Indian director Rupesh Paul will film the movie and a multiethnic cast for it could be revealed before Cannes ends May 25. Paul hopes to shoot the film in India and the United States and plans a worldwide release in September.

Authorities still have not been able to locate Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 when it went missing. The search for the plane has made headlines worldwide.

Paul's movie "Kamasutra 3D" is being screened outside the Cannes competition this year.

—By AP Entertainment Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody — http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi

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SOLIDARITY WITH TURKEY MINERS

The stars of the Turkish film "Winter's Sleep" are showing their solidarity for those affected by a mining tragedy at home as they promote their film in Cannes.

The actors and director held up signs with the hashtag Soma during their photo call Friday for the movie.

Soma is the Turkish city where at least 284 people were killed in a fire in a coal mine, the country's worst mining accident. There has been an outcry of anger and protests from the public, some of whom blame the government for not taking action to correct alleged safety problems in Turkey's mines.

"Winter's Sleep," by director Nuri Blige Ceylan, is a family drama starring Haluk Bilginer, Demet Akbag and Melisa Sozen. All four held the signs for photographers on Friday.

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WATTS: STOP MALE COMPARISONS

Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts says she's had enough with female directors constantly being sized up to their male counterparts.

Speaking with The Associated Press, the "Impossible" star said that "female directors and actresses have a different voice, different stories. It's not helpful to be compared to men."

Watts, who wore a pink strapless dress and long Bulgari white gold and diamond necklace, was in Cannes on Thursday night to attend Calvin Klein's "Women in Film" alongside Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o and Rooney Mara.

The underrepresentation of women in directorial roles has been a hot topic at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with Jane Campion — the first female filmmaker to have ever won the Palme d'Or — sitting as jury president.

"Jane Campion is right to say that there's an inherent sexism in the film industry. But there's also a lack of women putting themselves forward," Watts added.

— By Thomas Adamson — http://www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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EDITOR'S NOTE — "Cannes Watch" shows you the Cannes Film Festival and the events surrounding it through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across Cannes and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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