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CANNES - The men of Ocean's 13 - Brad Pitt, George Clooney and their crew - have turned their Hollywood hype machine into a campaign to raise money for Darfur refugees.
Ocean's 13 debuts at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. Starring Clooney and Pitt as suave con men who rob casinos, it is as easy-going as the two blockbusters preceding it: Ocean's 11 and Ocean's 12.
"We've known each other too long -we know each other's families - and it's just an instantaneous rhythm that sets in when working on the Ocean's movies," Pitt said.
"And, of course, the movies themselves have never been high drama ... [fun] is the point of it."
The first movie delighted audiences and raked in about R3,2 billion at box offices worldwide.
Ocean's 13 sticks closely to the formula of the first two: a lot of laughs, some silly gags and a big heist.
Danny Ocean (Clooney) calls upon his partners in crime, including master thief Rusty Ryan (Pitt) and geeky Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), to hit a new Vegas casino being opened by shifty businessman Willy Bank (Al Pacino).
But they actors are not in it only for the money.
The charity of Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Don Cheadle and producer Jerry Weintraub does not stop on the movie screen.
They also came to the world's largest film festival with its huge media coverage to raise money for and awareness of the refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan.
In recent years, bringing them food, shelter and medicine has become a priority for activists and some political leaders around the world, and Hollywood has taken up the cause.
"We're not politicians. We're not able to make decisions. We're not able to do anything except bring attention to something, and that's the thing we can do," Clooney said.
"Kids are dying from diarrhoea ... that just shouldn't be in this day and age, and it's that kind of thing that needs to be changed. Enough is enough," Pitt said .
In advance of the widely anticipated Ocean's 13, four cast members - Clooney, Pitt, Cheadle and Damon - and Weintraub launched the Not On Our Watch Foundation to raise money for and draw attention to the Darfur refugees.
Earlier this week they raised about R71million at a Cannes party, and in June they will cross the US for similar charity events. - Reuters