Director Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt, which stars former James Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen as a beloved nursery school teacher accused of sexual abuse by the daughter of a friend, debuted at the festival on Sunday (20May12) and became the biggest hit of the event so far.
Before the premiere, Vinterberg told reporters he had researched child abuse cases while making the film - and came to realise that children aren't always honest.
He said, "In Denmark we have a saying that children and drunk people always tell the truth. We are claiming that this is not always the truth.
"Frighteningly enough there are a lot of these cases. Early in the project (we) had to step out of real life and into drama so this is fully fiction and our own sick fantasy you could say."
The Hunt is one of the favourites to win Cannes' top awards, while Mikkelsen is in the mix for a major acting prize.