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LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR (France)

CANNES – Alongside all the beauty on display, the 2012 Cannes film festival is also revealing an ugly side: first, reports of sea dumping off the scenic French coastline, then the notable lack of women directors, and now anger growing about celebrities demanding payment for press interviews.

Canadian motion picture production company Alliance Films was asking for money in exchange of its actors interviews, French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur reports. Among the paid stars are Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt, who ask for 3000 euros for a 20-minutes interview. For "second-class actors like Kristen Stewart," you'll only have to pay 1250 euros.

Alliance Films defends the policy, explaining that top actors must bring their own makeup artist, hairdresser, agent, etc, before striding onto the red carpet. Since when is information exchanged for money? asks Nouvel Observateur. Why should journalists be paying for Brad Pitt's hair mousse!?

Keeping with the trend, the Cannes Film Festival is considering a new system in which journalists could have to pay to be accredited to attend.

Still, others note that paying for interviews offers an opportunity for small newspapers and magazines to interview movie stars who ordinarily wouldn't have been given the time of day.

Read the original article in French

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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