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Cannes Chatter: Kanye West to Debut 'Cruel' Short Film

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May 19, 2012 | 8:32am EDT

ALTThe 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival is officially in full swing, with nearly everyone in Hollywood transported to the prestigious French fest for a week and a half of wheeling and dealing. Catch up on all the goings-on with Cannes Chatter.

Let's have a toast for the douchebag! Kanye West, who previously showed off his behind the camera talents via short film "Runaway" in 2010, will debut a new film, Cruel Summer. Sorry, 1990s fans — don't expect an adaptation of the Ace of Base hit. West's film, which will be screened out of competition, will be "a fusion of short film and art installation" and also include an "immersive seven-screen experience for the eyes and ears unlike anything West has attempted before," according to DONDA, West's creative company. Cruel Summer's cast is quite hot: Aziz Ansari and Kid Cudi are among those involved with the project. Imma let you finish enjoying that fact before pointing out that this means Cannes will inevitably have to keep up with at least one Kardashian. [MTV]

A Cannes story that could be a film itself: Italian actor Aniello Arena, celebrated for his performance as a Naples-set fishmonger who's obsessed with starring on a reality show in Reality, is currently serving 20 years in prison for double murder. Arena was reportedly incarcerated for the crime prior to filming — he was excused during the day in order to star in the film, directed by Matteo Garrone. How did Garrone manage to choose the actor? Arena toured Italy performing with a prison theater troupe. Truth sometimes really is stranger than fiction. [Forbes]

Thanks to Sean Penn's best efforts — the actor chided Hollywood and the "whole f**king world" Friday for their lack of support in the earthquake-ravaged Haiti — guests at the film festival have donated over $250,000 to the cause at a charity auction headed by Penn, Paul Haggis, and Petra Nemcova. [Associated Press]

More:

Cannes 2012 in the Can: How to See the Fest's Biggest Movies

Cannes Chatter: Marion Cotillard Already Building Oscar Buzz

Cannes Chatter: The Fight Over Sexism Rages On

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