The official Cannes 70th edition poster, featuring Claudia Cardinale Photo: © Bronx (Paris). Photo : Claudia Cardinale © Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Images
The image shows Cardinale in her Fifties hey day twirling and dancing against a deep red background with gold lettering.
Cardinale, who has said she feels more French than Italian and lives in Paris, had her family roots in Sicily. Of the poster, she says: "I am honoured and proud to be flying the flag for the 70th Festival de Cannes, and delighted with this choice of photo.
Claudia Cardinale as she appeared in Valerio Zurlini’s The Girl With The Suitcase in 1960 Photo: Film Italia
Cardinale, 78, has been a frequent Cannes visitor over the decades. She once told me that she is not a fan of today’s reality cinema. She said: "Once when you left the cinema you had the images in your mind for a long time. You talked about it, the setting, the dialogue, and the story. Even our neo-realists like Vittorio De Sica gave reality a poetical edge. Too often now you come out, and look around and it is exactly what you saw on the screen. In many ways the cinema has forgotten how to dream."
Her passport to the world of cinema was winning the Most Beautiful Girl in Tunis contest in 1957, which included as part of the prize a trip to the Venice Film Festival. She attracted a flurry of attention. Even such sober minds as the literary icon Alberto Moravia were describing her as the next "goddess of love" in an interview with Variety. Shortly thereafter, Italy's finest directors were queuing up to cast her: Pier Paolo Pasolini chose her for Il Bell' Antonio; Visconti offered Rocco And His Brothers and The Leopard, in which she danced so memorably with Burt Lancaster, and Federico Fellini gave her Eight And A Half.
She has only good memories of her screen partners - or perhaps it's the discretion of maturity. She was only 22 when she had "the time of my life" with John Wayne and Rita Hayworth as her costars in The Magnificent Showman, a western meets the circus. Wayne presented her with his chair from John Ford and his coffee cup labelled The Duke. They are among her prized possessions.
Claudia Cardinale: 'I am honoured and proud to be flying the flag for the 70th Festival de Cannes' Photo: Richard Mowe
Her leading men have included Marcello Mastroianni, Peter Finch, Anthony Quinn, Alain Delon, Henry Fonda, David Niven, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis and Sean Connery. She describes Connery - with whom she worked on The Red Tent by the Russian director Mikhail Kalatoznov and based around an abortive Arctic expedition - as a as a consummate professional. "He was so easy to work with. The weather was freezing cold, so every morning he served up a shot of vodka instead of coffee.”
The poster was designed by Bronx agency in Paris with Philippe Savoir of Filifox creating the image's visual identity.
As previously announced, Pedro Almodovar will preside over this year's Festival jury, and Italian-French actress Monica Bellucci will serve as master of ceremonies. The full competition lineup will be announced April 13.