The 68th Cannes Film Festival kicked off on a glorious, sunny day. A galaxy of stars -- including Jake Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy and Katrina Kaif -- directors, movie moguls and agents have descended on this tiny town in the French Riviera. I've been coming to Cannes since 1999 and it never gets old. This is, arguably, the greatest movie event on the planet.
This year, 19 films are showing in competition and 19 have been selected for the Un Certain Regard section. For the first time in the 69-year-old history of the festival, two Indian films have been selected for this section - debutant director Neeraj Ghaywan's Masaan, and Gurvinder Singh's Chauthi Koot.
Apart from Katrina, Sonam Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will also walk the red carpet. There was excitement for the launch of the poster of Aishwarya's first film in five years. She, along with director Sanjay Gupta and Irrfan Khan, were supposed to attend it. But Irrfan dropped out.
Vishal Bhardwaj, who was supposed to be 2015 Cannes, isn't coming either. But I did bump into Nandita Das, who is at the festival to raise funds for her film on the iconic writer, Saadat Hassan Manto. In April 2015, at the festival press conference, Thierry Frémaux (festival general delegate) announced that there would be a limitation on the number of selfies celebrities can take on the red carpet. He said, "You never look as ugly as you do in a selfie." As far as I could tell, his disapproval had little impact. The festival world's most glamorous red carpet has everyone reaching for their smartphone.
Some of the most curious film titles I saw include In the Room (described as 'high concept erotica'), The Amazing Wizard Of Paws (a children's film) and You're Ugly Too.
(Anupama Chopra is an author and a film critic.)