Movies from Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Denis Villeneuve, Yorgos Lanthimos and Justin Kurzel will vie for the Palme d'Or alongside new films by Valerie Donzelli, Jacques Audiard, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Jia Zhangke at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
At a packed Paris press conference, Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux and president Pierre Lescure unveiled a star-studded lineup for the festival's 68th edition. World-premiere screenings of Woody Allen's "Irrational Man", George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" and Pixar's latest toon extravaganza "Inside Out" is also planned.
Another animated feature, Mark Osborne's English-language adaptation of "The Little Prince," will also screen out of competition, said the Hollywood Reporter. In total, 17 films were added to the competition and 14 in the Un Certain Regard section. Additional films will be added to the lineup in the coming days. Emmanuelle Bercot's drama "La Tete Haute" will kick off the festival on May 13.
This is the first time a female director's film has played opening night in Cannes since 1987, when Diane Kurys premiered her English-language romance "A Man in Love" in the same slot. The 'In Competition' films are "The Assassin" (Hou Hsiao-hsien) "Carol" (Todd Haynes), "Erran" (Jacques Audiard), "The Lobster" (Yorgos Lanthimo), "Our Little Sister" (Hirokazu Kore-eda), "Louder Than Bombs" (Joachim Trier), "Macbeth" (Justin Kurzel), "Marguerite and Julien" (Valerie Donzelli), "Mon roi" (Maiwenn), "Mountains May Depart" (Jia Zhangke), "My Mother" (Nanni Moretti), "The Sea of Trees" (Gus Van Sant), "Sicario" (Denis Villeneuve), "A Simple Man" (Stephane Brize), "Son of Saul" (Laszlo Nemes), "The Tale of Tales" (Matteo Garrone) and "Youth" (Paolo Sorrentino).
Cannes usually allots three competition slots to French filmmakers, and this year is no exception, with two of them given to directors who have competed before, Maiwenn and Jacques Audiard. Maiwenn, who won the Jury Prize in 2011 for "Polisse", will screen her marriage chronicle, "Mon roi", starring Vincent Cassel, Bercot and Louis Garrel, while "A Prophet" helmer Audiard will return with the gritty street saga "Dheepan", about a Tamil refugee who finds himself in the tough suburbs of Paris.
Writer-director Stephane Brize will play in competition for the first time with "La loi du marche", with Vincent Lindon, a regular in his films, starring as an unemployed 50-year-old man who finds a job as a supermarket security guard and then faces a major moral dilemma.
Cannes announced a new "Women in Motion" initiative alongside corporate partner Kering, with a series of conferences and events scheduled to take place at this year's festival, and prizes to be handed out to women filmmakers starting in 2016.