The Cannes Film Festival celebrated its 75th anniversary with a group of no less than 120 stars and filmmakers from all over the world, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Paolo Sorrentino, Isabelle Huppert, Diane Kruger, Guillermo del Toro, Jacques Audiard, Melanie Laurent, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Nicolas Winding Refn.
Some of them, notably del Toro, took part in a symposium earlier Tuesday to discuss the new challenges that cinema is facing today.
The roster of talents on the ground at the gala ceremony also included the bevy of stars and filmmakers presenting films at this year's festival, including Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen, and David Cronenberg ('Crimes of the Future), among many others.
Cannes general delegate Thierry Fremaux and president Pierre Lescure took turns calling each guest to join them on stage with a thunder of applause.
The guests posed for a Cannes family portrait, and Garcia Bernal then took the microphone and sang "Ella" by Jose Alfredo Jimenez with del Toro.
Fremaux opened the ceremony by saying a few words about the resilience of cinema and the importance of Cannes in promoting the moviegoing experience.
"Cinema is not dead! Cinema is alive and will never die," said Fremaux, stirring cheers and applauses.
Lescure, for whom this year marks the last edition as Cannes president, received the first standing ovation of the evening and made a speech talking about the legacy of the film festival.
Former Warner Bros. top executive Iris Knobloch will soon succeed him as festival president.
The ceremony was followed by the world premiere of Louis Garrel's "L'innocenta in which he stars opposite Roschdy Zem and a lavish dinner prepared by Christian Sinicropi, the chef of the Palme d'Or restaurant, at the Marche Forville in Cannes' old town. (AA/IANS)