Film fans flooded the streets of Cannes in a bid to get a glimpse of the stars on the red carpet as the festival officially began.
Woody Allen's new film, a romantic comedy called Midnight in Paris, opened the festival and the veteran director was joined on the red carpet by some of its stars including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen.
Michael is cast as a pompous intellectual in the film which includes a scene where he patronises a museum tour guide played by France's first lady Carla Bruni.
She is not attending the festival - a decision that has sparked speculation she is pregnant.
Also on the red carpet were Salma Hayek and members of this year's jury including Uma Thurman, Jude Law and jury president Robert De Niro.
Woody earlier told a packed press conference he came up with the title for the film, about a young couple in the French capital, long before he decided on its plot.
He said: "I thought of a wonderful title, Midnight in Paris, because it's suggestive of an enormous amount of romance but I didn't know what was going to happen at midnight in Paris. Months went by and I couldn't think of what happened at midnight in Paris."
Robert said he was looking forward to playing his part in awarding the coveted Palme d'Or.
He said: "I'm not sure what I'm looking for. We'll sit there and see the movies and figure it out."
Asked how he would compare the films, which include entries from America, Finland and Japan, De Niro said the jury would look at "how important we feel they are in comparison to the other movies ... so it's up for grabs at the moment".