Sixth Paris film festival set to kick off

Festival chaired by actress Charlotte Rampling

PARIS -- The Paris Cinema International Film Festival will kick off its sixth edition Tuesday with a series of public and professional events set to illuminate the French capital during the 12-day film fete.

An initiative of Paris' City Hall, this year's Paris Cinema fest is chaired by actress Charlotte Rampling and will feature 280 film screenings, free open-air events, master classes and an international competition section.

The "Paris Project" sidebar reserved for industry professionals will run Wednesday-Friday at the MK2 Bibliotheque and hopes to aid 10 foreign feature film projects looking for financing through co-productions with Gallic companies.

Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or-winning film "The Class" will open the fest and Frederic Balekdijan's "Un Monde a Nous" will close.

Guests of honor are expected to include David Cronenberg, Aki Kaurismaki, Jean-Claude Carriere, Ronit Elkabetz and Nathalie Baye.

Paris Cinema hopes to continue its popularity this year after the 2007 edition attracted more than 70,000 people, a 113% rise in participation compared with the year before.