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Behind the scenes: Cinema spotlight on Cannes

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  • The famed Carlton Hotel is draped in Indiana Jones imagery
  • "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" premieres at the festival
  • Countless signs and billboards promoting films have been erected
  • Marche du Film is a film market that runs parallel to the film festival
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By Brooke Anderson
CNN Entertainment Correspondent
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In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences in covering news and analyze the stories behind the events. CNN's Brooke Anderson reports on the Cannes Film Festival in southern France.

CANNES, France (CNN) -- Palm trees, mild weather, the Mediterranean -- what more could you want? For film aficionados, the answer is movies, movies and more movies.

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Actor Jack Black mugs for the cameras during an event for the movie "Kung Fu Panda" in Cannes, France.

I was a little jet lagged from my flight from the U.S., but as I walked along the famed Boulevard de la Croisette, the energetic preparations for the Cannes Film Festival were invigorating.

Countless signs and billboards promoting films have been erected.

An advertisement for the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda" is positioned at the very end of a pier, giving the illusion that it's floating on water.

The famed Carlton Hotel is draped in Indiana Jones imagery, complete with a lighted Indy-themed archway at the entrance.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" has its world premiere at the festival on Sunday. Video Watch a preview of the festival »

Our workspace is located across from the Palais, where the high-profile premieres will take place and even higher-profile stars -- Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Clint Eastwood -- will walk the red carpet.

Bleachers have been put in place for the scores of photographers who will elbow for the best shot. The area is cordoned off now but will be soon be bustling with activity.

I also stopped in to check out the Marche du Film.

It's the film market that runs parallel to, yet separate from, the film festival. At this point, the market looks like the beginnings of a Las Vegas trade convention.

Film and production studios -- each hoping to sell their films and get international distribution -- are separated in square, cubicle-like sections.

Movie posters are taped to the walls of each section, flat screen TVs are positioned for potential buyers to get a look at what's for sale, and studio employees are busily putting the finishing touches on their space, hoping to make a good impression with buyers.

This year, the film festival's lineup includes new movies by Steven Soderbergh, Wim Wenders, Atom Egoyan, Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman ("Adaptation"), who's making his directing debut, as well as dozens of works by little-known filmmakers hoping to break into the big time.

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The festival kicks off Wednesday night with the movie "Blindness" starring Julianne Moore, and you can bet the star wattage and paparazzi camera flashes will be blinding over the next week and a half.

The festival runs through May 25th.

All About Cannes

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