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Thursday, May 13, 1999 Published at 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK


All Saints shine at Cannes

Is the outlook fine for British film makers?

Pop stars All Saints have arrived in Cannes to promote their film Honest on the second day of the French film festival.

The BBC's Madeleine Holt: "It's Cannes, but it's as British as we can make it."
Three of the group - Melanie Blatt plus sisters Natalie and Nicole Appleton - turned up with Eurythmics musician Dave Stewart to promote the movie, set in 1960s London.

The fourth member of the group, Shaznay Lewis, declined to take part in the project.

Looking thrilled, Natalie Appleton told reporters: "It's a big challenge for us to do these things, but we're looking forward to it. It's going to be great, the script's fantastic, you're going to love it."

This is not the first time in recent years a pop group has arrived in Cannes - the Spice Girls turned up at the festival two years ago to promote Spice World.

[ image: Natalie Appleton: Dave Stewart is producing All Saints' film]
Natalie Appleton: Dave Stewart is producing All Saints' film
Meanwhile, British film minister Janet Anderson set Cannes alight in her own way - by lighting an eternal flame for the British film industry.

"We have seen recently great success in British film, and we want to build on that," she said.

At Cannes' most prestigious hotel, the Carlton, the people who actually make the films were gathered. The mood among them was genuinely upbeat.

Film critic Derek Malcolm said: "I wouldn't say its going to be a flag-waving year, but everyone's packing into the British film. Before, everyone just thought, 'Oh, it's a British film, let's have dinner.' Now it's 'It's a British film, for God's sake hurry up!'"

Director Alan Parker agreed. "We could never be gigantic, but we certainly can survive. We're just not going to make Hollywood movies, and neither should we."

Every year at Cannes the British film industry proclaims it is on the up. But now it has a track record of successful original and commercial films, many feel there is finally some substance to that claim.

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