Reuters – The world's most important film festival is about to start in Cannes with a mix of starpower, art house cinema, Hollywood blockbusters and everything in between, though its director would be happier if the "selfie" had never been invented.

After making a selection from 1,854 films, festival director Thierry Fremaux said this edition, which opens today, would stand out for the new names it introduces.

"We put new names on the map and we'll see in 12 days what will be the result of everything," he told Reuters.

Apart from the screening, parties and deal-making that mark the festival every year, Fremaux has had to consider an activity of more recent origin - selfies - and what they mean for Cannes.

"We have 2,200 people entering in the main theater and if every one of them makes three stops to take a photo of himself, I mean, the process is very slow," he said.

"The film could be late and in Cannes, we respect time," said Fremaux, who thinks selfies are "ridiculous and grotesque".

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