The 58th CannesFilm Festival gets underway today with the opening ceremony and competitionscreening of Dominik Moll's Lemmingat 19.30.

Festival delegates have beenpouring into Cannes over the past two days in preparation forthe start of the festival.

According to official Cannes figures, 8281 delegates from 79 countries have registered for the Cannes market, up 10% on last year. In total, 3,507 films will be presented to the 1,384 buyers accredited, of which 1,908 are finished full-length features and 1,599 projects in development or in production.

The Cannes competition jury,headed by Emir Kusturica, will also make a public appearance todaywith a press conference scheduled for 14.45.

Just before the festivalkicked off, Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux and festival presidentGilles Jacob discussed this year's line-up with It's a line up that is strong on well known arthousedirectors, such as Gus van Sant, Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders and Lars Von Trier.

"Each year is particular andthis year there is a certain cohesion. The selection has been welcomed as ifpeople are happy to see a Cannes that navigates with a clear heading," saidFremaux. Jacob echoef this, "I personally want to goand see these films!"

As for filmsthat didn't make the cut, Fremaux said, "The industry has reacted with joy forthose films present and also disappointment for some that aren't, but choicespresent risks - the first one being to make a mistake. We tried to act with alot of conviction."

Fremaux wouldn'tbe led as to any films which didn't make the cut saying, "We have a tacitagreement with the industry never to reveal this information."

Titles understood to havebeen screened for a second time by Cannes but that did not make the cut includeNeil Jordan's Breakfast On Plutoand Ramon Salazar's 20 Centimetres.

With so many filmssubmitted, Fremaux said that his screening teams are being increased. "When aneditor receives a manuscript in the mail he has to read it, it could be Proust!"

To this end, anew four person team was put in place this year to act as filter and screenfilms about which little is known, complementing the existing committees - onefor French films and one for foreign films made up of 3 and 4 peoplerespectively along with Fremaux.