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Spielberg warns of antisemitism rise in Auschwitz speech

Steven Spielberg told a group of Holocaust survivors that Jews are again facing the "perennial demons of intolerance" from anti-Semites who are provoking hate crimes and trying to strip survivors of their identity.

The film directors warning came in a speech to dozens of Auschwitz survivors ahead of official commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet army's liberation of the Nazi death camp.

Steven Spielberg warns of rise in antisemitism in Auschwitz speech Credit: Utrecht Robin/Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The Oscar-winning director of the 1993 Holocaust film "Schindler's List," was introduced by an 81-year-old survivor, Paula Lebovics, who praised him as "a man who has given us a voice in history."

In a short speech, Spielberg warned of "anti-Semites, radical extremists, and religious fanatics" who are again provoking hate crimes.

"These people ... want to all over again strip you of your past, of your story and of your identity," he told them. He stressed the importance of countering that hatred with education and preserving Auschwitz and other historical sites.

Spielberg and Lucas warn of Hollywood 'implosion'

Veteran directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have warned of an impending Hollywood "implosion" which could have a significant impact on cinema-goers.

"There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm," Spielberg said before predicting that he can foresee consumers paying more to see larger scale films.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were speaking at the new media centre at the University of Southern California Credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Star Wars creator George Lucas told students at the new media centre at the University of Southern California that even experienced film-makers like the pair were struggling to get the funding to produce films.

Lucas said he envisaged a scenario where some films would be broadcast on the more "adventurous" cable television.

He said the business of films would become more like Broadway or West End theatre where going to the movies would cost you "50 bucks, maybe 100. Maybe 150".

Audrey Tatou pays homage to Spielberg's E.T.

Audrey Tatou, the host of the 66th Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony paid homage to Steven Spielberg's E.T. in her speech last night. She said:

French actress Audrey Tatou with director Steven Spielberg at Cannes Credit: Reuters

"Hearts that are ready to be charmed, moved, amazed, stopped, whether or not they are all decked out for the occasion, hearts here and elsewhere, hearts that have loved cinema ever since the day that a film, the first one, transported them to seventh heaven."

She added that for her, that film was E.T., and this strange creature "that kept on repeating Call home, call home".


Cannes judges: What are they looking for in a film?

The Cannes jury have given their opinion on what they will be looking for as they judge the winners of this year's festival.

Director Steven Spielberg Credit: Briquet-Hahn-Marechal/ABACA/Press Association Images

Steven Spielberg said: "My opinion is very straightforward, we are always judging, we are constantly judging films we see at the cinema, evaluating them and trying to see what is radically new in them. Films are always in competition with each other for audiences' attention."

Actress Nicole Kidman Credit: Briquet-Hahn-Marechal/ABACA/Press Association Images

Nicole Kidman said: "I think that it is important to contribute to the celebration of film. I finally had the time to sit down and watch films. Cannes is a prestigious festival that has done a lot to promote the films in which I have acted."

Actor Christoph Waltz Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Christoph Waltz said: "An award is always the result, but the result of what? Good psychoanalysis involves both a psychoanalyst and a patient. We each of us have our way of carrying out our task and mine is perhaps more descriptive than Cristian's."