The 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival started on Wednesday with the premiere of director Baz Luhrmann's 3D movie The Great Gatsby.

The cast of the movie, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic American novel, attended the photocall and news conference at the event.

The film, a surprise choice for Cannes, stars Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role of a millionaire pining for a lost love, with supporting actors Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton.

DiCaprio told BBC he had read Fitzgerald's novel while he was "in junior high school" but admitted "it didn't quite connect with me".

However, a recent reading of the same book had a completely different impact on the actor.

The novel "just blew me away - it had so many meanings and nuances" he said.

DiCaprio further said that acting the lead role in the movie brought an "enormous pressure".

"What is so great about this novel and why people still discuss it nearly a hundred years later and still have arguments about the meaning of each sentence and each word and each bit of symbolism, is because it's left up to the interpretation of you as a reader," he said.

The soundtrack of the movie, which also stars legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, has been produced by rapper Jay-Z.

This year, director Steven Spielberg is presiding over the jury to decide the winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or. Other jury members include actor Nicole Kidman, director Ang Lee and Indian actress Vidya Balan. A total of 20 films will be competing for the title. The event is being hosted by French actress Audrey Tautou.