French AIDS movie hotly tipped for Cannes' top prize
CANNES, France The winner of the Cannes Film Festival will be announced on Sunday, with a French movie about AIDS campaigners and two dark Russian dramas among the hottest tips.
LOS ANGELES Miley Cyrus and Disney Channel sought to shoot down rumors on Monday that the teen sensation of the TV hit "Hannah Montana" was seeking to part ways with the show that made her a star.
Patti McTeague, a Disney spokeswoman for the "Hannah Montana" show, told Reuters that reports of on-set turmoil were "absolutely not true, pure gossip."
Cyrus, 15, one of the world's most popular teen celebrities, said she had no plans to leave the show -- Disney's most watched series for 6-11 year-olds and the basis of a huge merchandising empire.
"I am fully committed to 'Hannah Montana,'" Cyrus told People in a report on the magazine's website on Monday.
Cyrus's comments followed reports on celebrity website TMZ.com that Cyrus was trying to get fired by showing up late on set, stalling production and infuriating the cast and crew.
TMZ suggested that Cyrus, who is building a successful pop music career in her own right, wanted to focus on singing rather than the TV show.
In the show, Cyrus plays a schoolgirl who leads a secret life as a pop star named Hannah Montana. One-time country sensation Billy Ray Cyrus, her real life father, plays Miley's dad on the show.
"It's what gave me this amazing opportunity to reach out to so many people," Cyrus told People. "I couldn't do it alone. We have an amazing cast that is so supportive, including my dad who has been there for me every step of the way."
Disney Channel's McTeague said Cyrus and the "Hannah Montana" team have been in production for a third season of the show, and that Disney has an option for a fourth season.
"We're thrilled with it, and we know everyone's working hard, and Miley herself has said she's committed to the long-term success, as are we," McTeague said.
A movie version of the show has already been shot and is scheduled for release in April 2009.
It is not the first time there has been speculation about Cyrus's satisfaction with the show. She released a new album "Breakout" in July that was the first that did not play on her squeaky-clean "Hannah Montana" alter ego.
In July, the young actress told E! News that this could be the last season of "Hannah Montana", saying she has acted in the show since she was 11 and the heavy workload included shooting "two seasons in one last year."
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant and Philip Barbara)
CANNES, France A movie by an Iranian who was arrested for his work in Iran won the "Un Certain Regard" competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, bolstering the country's filmmakers' reputation for defying the censors to make high-quality films.
Gregg Allman, whose soulful vocals made the Allman Brothers Band one of rock's top acts in the 1970s with songs such as "Whipping Post," in a career also marred by tragedy and drug abuse, died on Saturday at the age of 69, his official website said.