The 60th Cannes Film Festival gets underway today, with a number of top Hollywood stars descending on the south of France to promote their new movies.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts will be among the top names at the prestigious festival, which will host the premiere of their latest collaboration, Oceans 13.

British director Stephen Frears, whose royal drama The Queen hit cinemas last year, is on this years judging panel to choose the winner of the coveted Palme d'Or prize.

However in a disappointing result for the UK film industry, no home-grown movies are among the 22 titles competing for the best film award.

In contrast five US releases, including Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, are up for the title.

My Blueberry Nights, the first English language film directed by Hong Kong film maker Wong Kar Wai, is also in the selection.

The road-trip flick starring British actor Jude Law and US singer Norah Jones will open the festival, which runs until May 27th.

But as Hollywood's finest arrive on the Riviera to promote their latest work, the LA Times warns that seeking publicity at Cannes can come at a hefty price for movie makers.

The paper says that some film companies are now refusing to meet costly travel and accommodation expenses incurred by stars in the exclusive resort, with We Own the Night actor Mark Wahlberg having reportedly been told by the film's producers that they would not foot the bill for all of his entourage to attend the festival.

However larger film firms seem to believe that promotion at Cannes is worth its weight in gold no matter what the cost.

"Cannes is not cheap but it affords you a lot that other venues do not," Sue Kroll, the president of international marketing for Warner Bros, told the LA Times.

16/05/2007 08:09:48