The 61st Cannes Film Festival has opened in the southern French resort with the showing of independent Brazilian movie Blindness.
The dark tale of mass hunger and blindness that sweeps the globe is based on a novel by Portuguese Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago
Critics say Blindness and another Brazilian film, Line of Passage, face a stiff challenge this year from American actor-director Clint Eastwood's Changeling, a missing child drama.
Steven Soderbergh's two-part epic, Che, on the life of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara, is also seen in the running for the festival's top prize, the Golden Palm.
The 12-day gala brings together cultural figures, filmmakers and movie stars from across the globe.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.