The French Riviera is bustling with anticipation and activity ahead of the start of the 65th Cannes Film Festival.
Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor will join actress Diane Kruger, actor Tim Roth and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier on the jury at this year's event.
The nine-strong group, which will also include Wuthering Heights director Andrea Arnold, will decide which film wins the coveted Palme d'Or.
Among the films in the running for the prestigious prize are David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and Walter Salles' adaptation of the Beat Generation novel, On The Road, which features Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Kirsten Dunst.
Veteran director Ken Loach carries British hopes with his new movie, The Angels' Share, about a small-time criminal who is introduced to the world of high-end whisky distilleries.
Also competing are The Paper Boy, starring John Cusack, Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman, Lawless, a prohibition-era tale of bootleggers in the American south starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Guy Pearce, and Jeff Nichols' Mud with Reese Witherspoon.
This year, the festival has come under fire for not including a single female director in its main competition lineup after four were selected in 2011.
The festival, which runs from May 16 to 27, will open with Wes Anderson's new film Moonrise Kingdom, which stars Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis as a small town cop and comedy star Bill Murray, and is set in New England in the summer of 1965.
But before the celebs grace the red carpet for the gala premiere, Sacha Baron Cohen's zany alter ego General Aladeen, star of The Dictator, is expected to hijack media attention with a stunt in front of the Carlton hotel.
The Ali G, Borat and Bruno star, who turned up in military regalia at the Oscars and pretended to pour late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's ashes onto an interviewer, has already premiered his movie and is apparently in Cannes simply to cause a stir.
So far General Aladeen has been spotted on a yacht for all to see with supermodel Elisabetta Canalis, sunbathing and drinking champagne.
Along the Croisette, last-minute preparations were underway as beach pavilions stocked up with champagne and lobster, promotional posters went up and stages were erected.
Workers were rolling out the red carpet on the steps of the waterfront festival palace as Cannes braced itself for the annual onslaught that sees its population triple to 200,000.