The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicks off 7 weeks from today, and while speculation continues to swirl around the movies that will make the cut in Official Selection, the fest has just twirled out the Official Poster for the landmark anniversary. Legendary actress Claudia Cardinale graces this year’s affiche as she dances on a Roman rooftop. The fest says the poster reps an event that “promises a celebration in passionate red and sparkling gold.”

The Cannes poster is annually anticipated, dissected and collected. Versions in recent years have included a take on Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt and images of such icons as Ingrid Bergman; Marcello Mastroianni (in 8 1/2); Marilyn Monroe; Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman; and Monica Vitti in L’Avventura.

Cardinale is a Cannes veteran who first came to the Competition lineup in 1961 with two films: Valerio Zurlini’s Girl With A Suitcase and Mauro Bolognini’s La Viaccia, which co-starred Jean-Paul Belmondo. In 1963, she was back with another two films, classics The Leopard by Luchino Visconti in Competition and Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 Out Of Competition. Among the enduring actress’ other films to run in Cannes have been Liliana Cavani’s La Pelle, Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, Marco Bellocchio’s Henry IV, Diane Kurys’ A Man In Love and Claude Lelouch’s And Now… Ladies And Gentlemen.

The festival said today of the poster, “She dances, she laughs, she lives! Who better to symbolize the next Festival than Claudia Cardinale, the image of an adventurous actress, independent woman and social activist? Throughout the 12-day festival, the spirit of openness and welcome will infuse the Croisette — as it does every year — with pictures of a world that dares to look itself in the mirror, to stand proud and to speak out.”

Said Cardinale, “I am honored and proud to be flying the flag for the 70th Festival de Cannes and delighted with this choice of photo. It’s the image I myself have of the festival, of an event that illuminates everything around. That dance on the rooftops of Rome was back in 1959. No one remembers the photographer’s name… I’ve also forgotten it. But this photo reminds me of my origins, and of a time when I never dreamed of climbing the steps of the world’s most famous cinema hall. Happy anniversary!”

Pedro Almodovar is President of the main jury this year with Monica Bellucci as Mistress of Ceremonies for opening and closing night. We are still waiting on word of the opening night film, and confirmation of the rest of the lineup which will be revealed in Paris on April 13. Cannes runs May 17-28.

The poster was created by Bronx Agency (Paris).

Here’s the portrait version:

Claudia Cardinale © Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Images