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EXCLUSIVE: Producer alleges in new complaint that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was involved in shooting at recording studio

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A music producer who is suing Sean “Diddy” Combs is doubling down on allegations that Combs and his son were involved in a shooting that happened at an L.A. recording studio in 2022, as well as allegations of harassment.

Combs was sued Feb. 26 by Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a producer on his most recent album, who alleged Combs sexually harassed, drugged and threatened him while he traveled and lived with Combs from September 2022 to November 2023.

 
Producer accuses Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of sexual harassment and assault
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In the initial complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Jones also detailed a shooting at a “writers and producers camp” held at Chalice Recording Studio in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2022. In addition to Jones, he said Combs; Combs’ son, Justin; and Justin’s friend, identified as “G,” were there.
 
The details provided in that complaint, and an amended complaint filed Monday, however, differ from information about the shooting provided by the Los Angeles Police Department and Combs’ attorney, Shawn Holley.
 
The suit also alleges that Combs is part of a “RICO enterprise” and that he and others are involved in a “sex trafficking venture.” A RICO enterprise is when individuals or groups act together to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is meant to target organized crime. The complaint is the latest legal trouble for Combs, who has been hit with a number of recent lawsuits, including multiple allegations of sexual assault.
 
The original complaint includes Jones’ account that he heard multiple gunshots after a “heated conversation” in a nearby bathroom. When the bathroom door opened, Combs and his son walked out and Jones found G “lying on the restroom floor in a fetal position, holding his stomach and bleeding out of his leg/hip area,” the lawsuit said.
 
Jones said he brought the victim to the front of the studio, where an ambulance was waiting. The Los Angeles Fire Department has not responded to a request last week for more information about the shooting.
 
Jones alleged in the suit that Combs instructed him to tell police Combs had nothing to do with the shooting and that it occurred outside of the studio by a drive-by assailant. Jones maintained that G was not shot outside of Chalice.
 
Chalice Recording Studio did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. It also did not respond to a previous request for comment last week.
 
The amended filing includes a message allegedly sent by Chalice to an unnamed person stating: “The shooting occurred a half a block away from Chalice and it was a result of a robbery. There are police reports corroborating this. Please wait for facts to come out before you start contributing to the defamation of our organization.”
 
The amended complaint also states, citing a media report, that Holley claimed the shooting happened several blocks away and that G went to the studio after he was shot.
 
But Jones’ original suit claims the LAPD was inside Chalice and “witnessed the blood in the restroom,” but still “went with the bogus claim” that the shooting took place outside of the studio.
 
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Included in the original filing are screenshots purportedly showing “the aftermath of the restroom where G was shot by either Mr. Combs or J. Combs.” NBC News has not been able to identify the red liquid depicted in the screenshots. Jones also claimed he has the clothing he wore the day of the shooting, which he says may have the DNA of the shooting victim.
 
The amended filing also includes a photo of Combs purportedly at the studio on the night in question. The filing states Combs and his son were not at the studio when the police arrived and alleges that Combs and his son “hid out” in another studio while police investigated and were the first to leave after officers departed.
 
Capt. Kelly Muniz said Saturday the LAPD would not comment on the pending civil suit or any of the specific allegations.
 
Attorneys and representatives for both Sean and Justin Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday about the allegations in the amended complaint.
 
Representatives for Justin Combs on Feb. 27 denied the allegations filed in the original complaint, which they called “absurd” and “lies,” and said there would be “legal consequences for ALL defamatory statements made about the Combs family.”
 
Los Angeles police have said officers responded to a call of a possible shooting early on Sept. 12, 2022, on the 800 block of N. Highland Avenue — the same block as Chalice.
 
Police said the victim told them two people approached him while he was next to his vehicle, which was parked on the street, demanded his property and shot him in the torso after a struggle.
 
Two months later, police arrested three people and alleged they were responsible for a series of robberies throughout the city and possibly others. A police spokesman told NBC News that included the Sept. 12 shooting.
 
On Tuesday, Holley told NBC News that Los Angeles police confirmed the shooting did not happen at or near the studio, that Combs was not a suspect and that people involved are being prosecuted.
 
The LAPD did not specifically respond to the initial allegations detailed in the original complaint, but a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News that Combs was not involved in the investigation. NBC News has not confirmed whether Combs was interviewed.
 
In the original complaint, Jones alleged that Combs called Jones in August 2022 to request that Jones produce several songs on the R&B album “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” which was released in September 2023 and was nominated for a Grammy.
 
Jones alleged in the original complaint that over the course of their time living and working together, Combs sexually harassed and assaulted Jones multiple times. He said he was also forced to solicit sex workers and perform sex acts with them to please Combs.
 
In one alleged instance Jones said took place in February of last year, he said he woke up naked, dizzy and confused in bed with Combs and two sex workers, and that he believes Combs drugged him.
 
In the original complaint, Jones said he has hundreds of hours of video and audio to support his allegations of sexual harassment because Combs often required Jones to “record him constantly.” The video and audio of Combs, his staff and his guests allegedly shows them “engaging in serious illegal activity,” the suit said.
 
Holley, an attorney for Combs, on Feb. 26 called Jones’ allegations in the original filing “complete lies,” adding: “We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them.”
 
In the suit filed Feb. 26, Jones described Combs as “forceful and demanding” and someone who does not take no for an answer. Jones alleged that Combs, being one of the most influential people in the music industry, leveraged his power to intimidate Jones, including by making threats that he would cause bodily harm to Jones if he did not comply with Combs’ demands.
 
“Mr. Combs consistently made it clear that he has immense power in the music industry and with law enforcement,” the lawsuit said.
 
In the amended complaint, Jones alleged that he learned last week that a private investigator, who he claims is linked to Combs, sought out, harassed and bribed a close friend “to provide dirt” on Jones.
 
Jones claimed the investigator attempted to bribe the friend to produce evidence to “paint Mr. Jones in a bad light.” The filing alleges Jones’ friend is now afraid for their safety and that of their family following the alleged communication.
 
Representatives for Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday about the private investigator allegation.
 
Jones also alleged in the Feb. 26  filing that he was not paid for his work on “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” despite being “under an implied work-for-hire agreement.” The lawsuit says Combs, Love Records, Motown Records and Universal Music Group benefited from his work, but that he was not compensated. Love Records, Motown Records and Universal Music Group did not respond to a previous request for comment.
 
In the amended complaint filed Monday, Jones said when he was recruited to work on “The Love Album,” he told the recruiter he wanted $20,000 per song, 4 royalty points, credit as a producer, credit for each instrument played on the songs, and the retention of his publishing rights.
 
Jones said he and the recruiter orally agreed to the terms. Combs guaranteed the terms were “accepted.” Because of this, Jones signed on to the project, the complaint states.
 
The amended complaint alleges Jones suffered losses including $220,000, 4 royalty points and producer credits for nine songs. He is seeking $30 million.
 
“Filing a lawsuit should never be the first option in a dispute. We can have an honest discussion to resolve the issues as I suggested, or we can follow the same plan Shawn Holley used that got her clients Danny Masterson and Tory Lanez convicted. Makes one wonder who is really managing this situation for Mr. Combs,” Jones’ attorney, Tyrone Blackburn, said Monday.
 
In a response to a request for comment on Feb. 26, Blackburn used a Latin phrase, “res ipsa loquitur,” which loosely translates as “the thing speaks for itself,” referring to the lawsuit.
 
In addition to Jones’ suit, four women filed separate lawsuits against Combs late last year, all accusing him of sexual assault.
 
The first was filed by singer Cassie, whose legal name is Casandra Ventura. In it, she said Combs physically abused her and forced her to have sex with male prostitutes while he masturbated and recorded it. The suit was settled the day after it was filed, but the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” an attorney for Combs said at the time.
 
Following Cassie’s lawsuit, two other women — Liza Gardner and Joie Dickerson-Neal — filed lawsuits against Combs alleging he sexually assaulted them.
 
Then, a woman identified only as Jane Doe in court documents, filed another lawsuit, alleging Combs and two other men gang-raped her when she was 17 and Combs was 34.
 
Those three cases against Combs are still pending. In Doe’s case, the court ruled Thursday she cannot remain anonymous if the case proceeds.
 
In a statement in December, Combs denied the allegations against him, saying “enough is enough,” and called the claims against him “sickening.”
 
“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth,” he said in the statement at the time.
 
Diana Dasrath and Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles, and Rebecca Cohen from New York City.
An amended complaint filed Monday adds new allegations to a lawsuit filed last week by producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, who alleges Combs sexually harassed and threatened him. Combs’ lawyer has denied the initial allegations.
NBCNews.com story by Diana Dasrath, Andrew Blankstein and Rebecca Cohen
Click Here to Read on NBCNews.com 
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Global Citizen NOW action summit to convene political, corporate, cultural, and philanthropic leaders to act today and save tomorrow

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It's illegal to insult the President, Rwandan Supreme Court affirms.

Global Citizen NOW, the summit driving action to end extreme poverty, returns to New York City for a third year, on May 1 and 2. Leaders from the worlds of public policy, media, entertainment, philanthropy, advocacy, and the private sector will convene for two dynamic days focused on taking action today to save tomorrow.

Hosted by Global Citizen, the world’s leading international advocacy organization, the 2024 edition of the summit will focus on ideas for urgent action to achieve a world where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled, including access for all people to food, energy, healthcare and education; advocate for the flourishing of our planet by pushing for increased climate financing and the phase out of fossil fuels; and drive toward a future where every person and country can prosper through economic development, access to finance, innovation and job creation.

Global Citizen NOW co-chairs include long-time Global Citizen supporters Anitta, Danai Gurira, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Johnson, and Michelle Yeoh.

Political leaders co-chairing this year’s summit include Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana; Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas; Stefan Löfven, Former Prime Minister of Sweden; and Erna Solberg, Former Prime Minister of Norway.

Co-chairs from the private sector include Hans Vestberg, Chairman & CEO, Verizon; Nir Bar Dea, CEO, Bridgewater Associates; Leon Kalvaria, Vice Chair of Client and Banking, Citi; Fran Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer, Cisco; Tshepo Mahloele, Founder & Chairman of Harith General Partners; Tim Mapes, SVP and Chief Communications Officer, Delta Air Lines; Diego Scotti, EVP & General Manager, Consumer Group, Global Marketing & Communications, PayPal; and Chris Stadler, Managing Partner, CVC Capital Partners.

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Leaders from foundations and policy co-chairs include Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Senait Fisseha, VP of Global Programs, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Gargee Ghosh, President, Global Policy & Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director General, International Labor Organisation and Former Prime Minister of Togo; Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund; and Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Co-chairs from the cultural sector include Michele Anthony, EVP, Universal Musical Group, Desiree Gruber, Founder and CEO, Full Picture; and Jane Rosenthal, CEO and Founder, Tribeca Enterprises.

Other participants include: Chris Anderson, Head of TED; Helder Barbalho, Governor of Pará; Alain-Richard Donwahi, President, COP15; Dana Canedy, Managing Editor, The Guardian US; Janja Lula da Silva, the First Lady of Brazil; Dr. Sania Nishtar, CEO, Gavi; and Brian Tippens, SVP, Chief Social Impact Officer, Cisco.

“The world is standing at a crossroads and we have a choice: we can watch the impoverished go hungry, suffer through natural disasters, and die from preventable diseases, or we can take bold action to defeat poverty, defend the planet and course correct toward a more equitable future,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder & CEO, Global Citizen. “We have the power to create monumental impact this year, but only if we have the courage to stand up and take action now.”

“I have made it my mission to work to amplify underrepresented voices,” said Danai Gurira, Award-winning actor, playwright and Global Citizen and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. “I am very pleased to join this year’s Global Citizen NOW action summit, and look forward to engaging in enriching conversations that generate immediate and impactful solutions to pressing issues and address the severe inequities facing the African continent.”

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Taking place at Spring Studios in New York City, Global Citizen NOW is supported by our partners Authentic Brands Group, Bridgewater Associates, Cisco, Citi, Delta Air Lines, P&G and Verizon.

Global Citizen NOW returns this May with a powerful two-day program focused on turning ideas into actionable impact to end extreme poverty NOW. The summit brings together global leaders and grassroots advocates from all spheres of society to generate urgent change to defeat poverty, demand equity and defend the planet, united to act today to save tomorrow. Virtually, millions will have the chance to tune-in, watch the discussions, and contribute ideas in real time.

The summit includes the Global Citizen Prize 2024 award ceremony, honoring five trailblazing advocates profoundly impacting their local communities around the globe in the areas of gender equity, civic space, climate change, food and nutrition, and health and vaccines, as well as the recipient of the Cisco Youth Leadership Award, a young person positively impacting the world using technology innovation. Winners will be announced in April. Proud partners of the Global Citizen Prize 2024 include Cisco, Citi, with support from the Ford Foundation.

A limited number of tickets to attend Global Citizen NOW are available for purchase at globalcitizen.org/now/nyc.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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O.J. Simpson dies at 76

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O.J. Simpson dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the former football great who was accused of and ultimately acquitted of the brutal 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, has died, according to his family. He was 76.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace,” a statement from his family said.

In May 2023, Simpson posted a video on X, then known as Twitter, revealing that he had recently “caught cancer” and “had to do the whole chemo thing.” He added, “It looks like I beat it.” Simpson didn’t specify the nature of the cancer.

Then in February 2024, a Las Vegas television station reported that Simpson was again undergoing treatment for an unspecified cancer. Simpson himself posted a video on X that day, denying rumors that he was in hospice care, though he did not otherwise confirm or deny reports that he was ill. Two days later in another video update on X, Simpson thanked those people he said had reached out to him, adding “My health is good. I mean, obviously I’m dealing with some issues but I think I’m just about over it.”

Simpson, nicknamed “The Juice,” broke records as a college and professional football player, and extended his celebrity and fortune as a sportscaster, a movie and television actor, and as a corporate spokesman, most notably for Hertz rental cars.

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All that changed on June 12, 1994, when Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally stabbed to death outside of her home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. Within days, police announced their intention to arrest the former football star for the murders.

Five days after the killings, 95 million Americans watched as Simpson’s white Ford Bronco – with longtime friend Al Cowlings at the wheel and Simpson in the back seat with a handgun, threatening to kill himself – led police on a 60-mile, low-speed televised chase through Los Angeles that lasted some two hours.

Simpson ultimately surrendered to police and stood trial for the murders. In October 1995, after 11 months from jury selection to verdict, Simpson was acquitted in a trial that was televised daily and became an international sensation.

Twelve years later, Simpson was arrested in September 2007 after he led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel and casino to steal, at gunpoint, what he claims was his own sports memorabilia. Simpson was charged with a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. The following year, he was found guilty and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison. Simpson was released on parole on Oct. 1, 2017.

Simpson is survived by four children: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

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Kato Kaelin, a houseguest of Simpson’s at the time of the murder who became a key witness during the trial, expressed his condolences Thursday to Simpson’s children and his “love and compassion” to the families of Brown Simpson and Goldman.

“Nicole was a beacon of light that burned bright. May we never forget her,” he said in a video statement posted on X.

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The Official Selection of the 77th Festival de Cannes unveiled!

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The Official Selection for the 77th Festival de Cannes was unveiled on 11 April at 11a.m., during the annual meeting with the French and international press, in the presence of Iris Knobloch, President of the Festival de Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate. Discover the list of feature films selected in Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, Midnight Screenings, Cannes Premiere and Special Screenings.   IN COMPETITION   Film d'ouverture LE DEUXIÈME ACTE by Quentin DUPIEUX - Out of Competition (THE SECOND ACT) THE APPRENTICE by Ali ABBASI MOTEL DESTINO by Karim AÏNOUZ BIRD by Andrea ARNOLD EMILIA PEREZ by Jacques AUDIARD ANORA by Sean BAKER MEGALOPOLIS by Francis Ford COPPOLA THE SHROUDS by David CRONENBERG THE SUBSTANCE by Coralie FARGEAT GRAND TOUR by Miguel GOMES MARCELLO MIO by Christophe HONORÉ FENG LIU YI DAI by JIA Zhang-Ke (CAUGHT BY THE TIDES) ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT by Payal KAPADIA KINDS OF KINDNESS by Yórgos LÁNTHIMOS L'AMOUR OUF by Gilles LELLOUCHE DIAMANT BRUT by Agathe RIEDINGER | 1er film (WILD DIAMOND) OH CANADA by Paul SCHRADER LIMONOV - THE BALLAD by Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV PARTHENOPE by Paolo SORRENTINO PIGEN MED NÅLEN by Magnus VON HORN (THE GIRL WITH THE NEEDLE) UN CERTAIN REGARD   NORAH by Tawfik ALZAIDI THE SHAMELESS by Konstantin BOJANOV LE ROYAUME by Julien COLONNA | 1st film VINGT DIEUX ! by Louise COURVOISIER | 1st film LE PROCÈS DU CHIEN by Laetitia DOSCH | 1st film (WHO LET THE DOG BITE?) GOU ZHEN by GUAN Hu (BLACK DOG) THE VILLAGE NEXT TO PARADISE by Mo HARAWE | 1st film SEPTEMBER SAYS by Ariane LABED | 1st film L'HISTOIRE DE SOULEYMANE by Boris LOJKINE THE DAMNED by Roberto MINERVINI ON BECOMING A GUINEA FOWL by Rungano NYONI BOKU NO OHISAMA by Hiroshi OKUYAMA (MY SUNSHINE) SANTOSH by Sandhya SURI VIET AND NAM by TRUONG Minh Quý ARMAND by Halfdan ULLMANN TØNDEL | 1st film OUT OF COMPETITION   SHE'S GOT NO NAME by CHAN Peter Ho-Sun HORIZON, AN AMERICAN SAGA by Kevin COSTNER RUMOURS by Evan JOHNSON, Galen JOHNSON, Guy MADDIN FURIOSA : A MAD MAX SAGA by George MILLER MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS   TWILIGHT OF THE WARRIOR WALLED IN by Soi CHEANG THE SURFER by Lorcan FINNEGAN LES FEMMES AU BALCON by Noémie MERLANT (THE BALCONETTES) I, THE EXECUTIONER by RYOO Seung Wan CANNES PREMIÈRE   EVERYBODY LOVES TOUDA by Nabil AYOUCH C’EST PAS MOI by Leos CARAX EN FANFARE by Emmanuel COURCOL (THE MATCHING BANG) MISÉRICORDE by Alain GUIRAUDIE LE ROMAN DE JIM by Arnaud LARRIEU and Jean-Marie LARRIEU RENDEZ-VOUS AVEC POL POT by Rithy PANH SPECIAL SCREENINGS   LE FIL by Daniel AUTEUIL ERNEST COLE, LOST AND FOUND by Raoul PECK THE INVASION by Sergei LOZNITSA APPRENDRE by Claire SIMON LA BELLE DE GAZA by Yolande ZAUBERMAN

The Official Selection for the 77th Festival de Cannes was unveiled on 11 April at 11a.m., during the annual meeting with the French and international press, in the presence of Iris Knobloch, President of the Festival de Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate. (more…)

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Festival de Cannes launches its Immersive Competition for 77th edition

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In 2024, the Festival de Cannes launches a new competition dedicated to immersive works.

In 2017, Alejandro González Iñárritu made history at the 70th edition of the Festival de Cannes with his groundbreaking virtual reality piece, Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) marking the first immersive work ever presented as an official selection at a major film festival. Recognized for his pioneering vision, Iñárritu received a special Academy Award for the project and continues to be a prominent figure at the Festival de Cannes (even serving as President of the Jury in 2019).

Because there are now original works that are pushing the boundaries of storytelling, the Festival de Cannes will introduce a new competition, the “Immersive Competition” for its 77th edition.

Seven years since its first immersive selection and in line with the Marché du Film’s commitment to exploring new technologies and art forms through its innovative-focused programs, the Festival de Cannes is thrilled to announce the creation of the new Immersive Competition for its upcoming 77th edition. The competition aims to spotlight the next generation of international artists who are redefining storytelling and inventing new narrative-driven experiences that move beyond the traditional two-dimensional cinema screen.

With the support of the CNC (National Center for Cinema and the moving image), the competition will feature immersive, collective and interactive works that utilize virtual reality, augmented reality and other cutting-edge technologies to transcend conventional storytelling and transport audiences to other worlds, narratives and eras.

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For its inaugural edition, a committee of industry experts and Festival de Cannes representatives, under the supervision of the General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, will select eight immersive works in competition. Additionally, a curated selection of non-competitive works, illustrating the synergy between immersive experiences and cinema, will complement the program.

The selected works will be accessible to Festival de Cannes and Marché du Film attendees throughout the Festival, from May 15 to 24. The works will be displayed in a 1300m2 exhibitionspace at the Cannes Cineum – the cinema complex of Cannes La Bocca – and the Georges Méliès Campus, a university institution dedicated to creative writing and film.

The in-competition works will compete for the Best Immersive Work prize. An international jury composed of notable figures from cinema and immersive art will present the award at a special closing ceremony, celebrating the creativity and innovation of immersive artists.

Alongside the Immersive Competition, the Marché du Film will continue to explore the commercial and technical aspects of the immersive sector through a lineup of conferences, expert panels, demonstrations and professional networking events.

In what promises to be already be a significant year, the City of Cannes is also set to announce the launch of Cannes Immersive, patronised by artist Jean-Michel Jarre and supported by the CNC. This new program aims to position Cannes as a global hub for immersive creations and the emerging artistic domain of artificial intelligence (AI). Cannes Immersive will unfold through the launch of innovative events, strategically designed to elevate Cannes’ status as a premier destination for immersive cultural experiences, which will be seamlessly integrated into both existing and future Cannes events. Furthermore, it will establish a permanent immersive venue in Cannes, serving as a showcase for the most exceptional immersive creations, whether assisted or generated by AI.

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Tiffany Haddish says she wants to sell her used underwear for charity

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Tiffany Haddish is willing to do anything to raise money for her foundation — including selling her used underwear. (more…)

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George Lucas Honorary Palme d’or of the 77th Festival de Cannes

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George Lucas Honorary Palme d'or of the 77th Festival de Cannes

A Hollywood legend, the director, screenwriter and producer George Lucas will receive the Honorary Palme d’or on Saturday, May 25, at the Closing Ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes, to be broadcast live on French TV channel France 2.
At the mere mention of his name, a whole section of the Seventh Art lights up, and you can hear a few unforgettable music notes (by John Williams!). Inseparable from the Star Wars and Indiana Jones sagas, George Lucas has forever given the blockbuster an illustrious history, and audiences the world over unrivalled pleasure.

“The Festival de Cannes has always held a special place in my heart. I was surprised and elated when my first film, THX-1138, was selected to be shown in a new program for first time directors called the Directors’ Fortnight. Since then, I have returned to the festival on many occasions in a variety of capacities as a writer, director and producer. I am truly honored by this special recognition which means a great deal to me.”

George Lucas’ debut in the film industry was marked by his close collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, who helped him produce THX 1138 (1971), adapted from one of his experimental short films made at the University of Southern California. From his very first feature, George Lucas staged the themes that are dear to him: science fiction to denounce a society of surveillance, using love to fight fate and conformity, and reversing moral values to challenge the role of good and evil.

With American Graffiti, an ode to American youth, George Lucas revealed Harrison Ford and directed his first major success which enabled him to embark on his ambitious saga.

A visionary intergalactic odyssey that reinvented the codes of cinematic genres as part of the New Hollywood movement, Star Wars is nothing short of mythology, a study that has fascinated George Lucas since his university days, in the construction of characters and plots and the breadth of its cultural reach. Like Tolkien in literature, he imagined a universe, with its geography, populations, languages, moral values and even its vehicles. This exceptional ambition, which initially frightened 20th Century Fox’s producers and led to a grueling post-production period, was nonetheless the recipe for unprecedented success: the film captivated the American crowds and became a worldwide socio-cultural phenomenon, which continues to this day.

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In the space of 40 years, George Lucas built a Hollywood empire through the nine episodes of the saga — four of which he directed himself. With his company Lucasfilm and its many subsidiaries, acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2012, George Lucas touched on everything. His unflagging passion for technology made him one of the pioneers of the visual effects industry: he founded Industrial Light & Magic and helped develop many new visual technologies, including the computer-assisted camera. In sound, he contributed to the evolution of stereo through his company THX. He also founded the famous animation studio Pixar. Moreover, George Lucas is an outstanding producer: in addition to the three Star Wars trilogies, he is associated with the development of mythical films by other directors, from Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha to the Indiana Jones saga, which he created.

The Honorary Palme d’or will be presented to him on stage at the Grand Théâtre Lumière during the Closing Ceremony on Saturday May 25, 2024.

The Festival de Cannes is delighted to pay tribute to one of the greatest figures of contemporary cinema, a man with an extraordinary career, who brings together great entertainment and innovation, mythology and modernity and cinephilia and technology.

The Closing Ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes will be broadcast live on France Télévisions and Brut. on Saturday, May 25. Camille Cottin will serve as Master of Ceremony.

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