"It's just an amazing platform to be able to promote to the worldwide entertainment media whatever you may have to offer," says Katzenberg. "We love to do that in the biggest, boldest, showmanship way that we can."
There will be no shortage of showmanship at Cannes, which will also feature a lavish party for the latest "Hunger Games" release, "Mockingjay: Part 1," and a promotional event for Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables 3."
But this year's festival appears to lean more toward art than spectacle, which Sony Pictures Classics co-founder Tom Bernard credits to festival director Thierry Fremaux: "This is really his canvas in a way that it's never been."
Bernard and SPC co-founder Michael Barker have been mainstays at Cannes for more than three decades. This year, they bring one of their most robust slates, including "Foxcatcher" and "Mr. Turner." But — like everyone else — they will be on the lookout for moviegoing epiphany.
"What you remember is there are screenings that are such major screenings of major movies in your life," says Barker. "I remember when I saw 'Taste of Cherry,' that Kiarostami directed and won the Palme d'Or, and was just so blown away by the film. Or 'Wings of Desire' for the very first time. That's what you hope for. You hope for that special screening moment where you just go 'Wow.'"
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