Cannes Film Festival to get underway amid high security

This year's festival will include new films from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen

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Image: Thibault Camus / AP/Press Association Images

Security at the Cannes Film Festival is said to be at an all-time high amid fears of a potential terrorist attack.

The festival, which opens today, has hired an extra 500 security personnel for the event.

This year's festival will see more than 200,000 people descend on the town in the South of France.

Bomb sweeps and bag checks are also in operation as reports from Italian intelligence that Islamic State is planning to target beach resorts.

The festival is opening with a screening of Woody Allen's latest film, Café Society, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.

Other high-profile films set to premiere include Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the the Roald Dahl classic The BFG.

The main competition stand of the festival is set to see the first screenings of new films from internationally acclaimed directors such as Asghar Farhadi (A Separation), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), Ken Loach and Pedro Almodóvar. 

Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, meanwhile, will be competing for their third Palme d'Or with their new film The Unknown Girl.

The jury for this year's festival is being led by Mad Max director George Miller, and will also feature the likes of Kirsten Dunst and Mads Mikkelsen.