(Cannes) The 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival was officially declared open Tuesday evening by Catherine Deneuve, during a ceremony presented by her daughter, actress Chiara Mastroianni.

“I declare open the 76th Cannes Film Festival,” said one of the legends of French cinema, alongside American actor Michael Douglas, who said the same sentence in English, a few minutes after receiving a Palme d gold of honor.

Catherine Deneuve, whose portrait serves as the poster for the Festival this year, had previously said that she “thinks a lot about Ukraine” and recited a poem by Ukrainian poet Lessia Oukraïnka.

Last year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky surprisingly spoke at the opening ceremony of the Festival, a few weeks after the start of the Russian invasion of his country.

Jeanne du Barry by French director Maïwenn, with Johnny Depp playing King Louis XV, was then to be screened as the opening film.

The competition kicks off on Wednesday with two feature films, Monster by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda and Le retour by French director Catherine Corsini.

A total of 21 filmmakers are in the running for the Palme d’Or, including 7 women, a record level for the largest film festival in the world. They will be decided by a jury of nine members chaired by Ruben Östlund, winner of his second Palme in 2022 for Without filter.