FRANCE is gearing up for an Irish invasion as a host of top of Irish films hit the Cannes Film Festival.
The world's largest film market kicked off today and many Irish filmmakers and industry experts are expected to attend.
Up-and-coming Irish actors, including Emma Eliza Regan, will attend this year's festival where top Irish films such as The Stag, starring Amy Huberman, will be on show.
The Irish representatives will be in good company, with Hollywood stars such as Leonardo Di Caprio and Marion Cotillard gracing the red carpet at Cannes this year.
This year's judging panel for the coveted Palme d'Or is led by Lincoln director Steven Spielberg.
There will be tough competition for the award as Matt Damon and Michael Douglas' Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, will compete against Only God Forgives and Inside Llewyn Davis at the the 66th annual festival
Baz Luhrman's hugely anticipated flick, The Great Gatsby, will open the festival and Audrey Tautou will host both the opening and closing ceremony.
Ireland will be represented by the Irish Film Board funded Sci-fi film The Last Days On Mars. Directed by Irish Academy Award nominee Ruairi Robinson, the flick will have its premiere in the prestigious Director's Fortnight category.
Meanwhile, there will be over 20 Irish films screening and selling in the Cannes Film Market, including Run & Jump, directed by Steph Green, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Life's A Breeze starring comic actor Pat Short, Frank, the latest film from Lenny Abrahamson and starring Michael Fassbender, and Love Eternal, directed by Brendan Muldowney, will also be showcased at the festival.
Other feature films include Dark Touch, starring Missy Keating, daughter of Boyzone star Ronan Keating, and Kely + Victor starring Antonia Campbell-Hughes.
As well as watching the Irish talent on screen, over 150 Irish film delegates are expected to travel to the market, where they will attempt to source finance for future film projects. Irish film buffs will be rubbing shoulders in the Irish Pavilion, which is set up to promote Irish film to the international community.
Galway native Emma Eliza Regan (22) will travel over on Friday and is delighted that her short film Out There has been selected for the Short Film Corner.
"It is just really good that it got into the festival because entries are pretty high and the film has already won a few international awards, including one in Germany last month," she told the Herald.