Hollywood heavyweights like the Coen Brothers and Steven Soderbergh will mingle with filmmakers from all over the world at next month's 66th Cannes Film Festival after organisers on Thursday (April 18) unveiled a solid line-up.
Hundreds of film critics and journalists filled the plush blue seats inside a Champs-Elysees cinema on Thursday underneath a huge video screen of the 2013 Cannes poster - Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward curled up kissing - to learn which films had made the cut this year.
Among such top names is U.S. filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, winner of the 1989 Palme D'Or for the popular "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", whose HBO film "Behind the Candelabra" stars Michael Douglas as flamboyant pianist and singer Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover.
Also adding Hollywood firepower are brothers Ethan and Joel Coen - best known for "Fargo" - with "Inside Llewyn Davis," a look at the New York folk music scene starring Justin Timberlake and John Goodman.
Two more American films are in the main competition, "The Immigrant" from director James Gray and Alexander Payne's "Nebraska." The main line-up includes no British films.
As previously announced, the festival will open on May 15th with a screening of Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who will return to Cannes for the first time since 2007. Opening and closing ceremonies will be hosted by French actress Audrey Tautou, known for the French film 'Amelie'.
Films in the main competition include Roman Polanski's French-language adaptation of the play "Venus in Fur" in which he cast his wife Emmanuelle Seigner. The film is an erotic comedy that revolves around an actress's sadomasochistic audition for a role in a play.
This year's jury deciding the awards in the main competition will be led by two-time Academy Award winning Director Steven Spielberg
Presiding over the jury deciding the smaller "Un Certain Regard" prize will be Danish director Thomas Vinterberg whose film "The Hunt" was highly regarded by critics at Cannes last year.
The screening of "The Bling Ring" by U.S. director Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson will open this competition on May 16.
Presented by Adam Justice