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Cannes Film Festival 2015

This year's Cannes Film Festival competition films announced

Cannes Film festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux (R) and its president Pierre Lescure (L) announce the competing films at the 68th Cannes Film Festival,  Paris, 16 April 2015.
Cannes Film festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux (R) and its president Pierre Lescure (L) announce the competing films at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, Paris, 16 April 2015. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Big stars like Cate Blanchett, Rachel Weisz, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro and Matthew McConaughey feature in the films among those competing next month in the 2015 edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

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French actors Vincent Cassel, Vincent Lindon, Léa Seydoux and Marion Cotillard will also be among those strolling along the red carpet in front of clicking and flashing cameras from 13 to 24 May.

Directors Gus Van Sant (The Sea of Trees), Jia Zhang-ke (Mountain May Depart), Nanni Moretti (My Mother), Jacques Audiard (Dheepan) and Hou Hsiao Hsien will be in the starting blocks.

Audiard's Rust and Bone competed in the 2012 festival.

“I cannot tell you who the stars are in Jacques Audiard’s film because there aren’t any,” Thierry Frémaux, artistic director of the festival, said of Dheepan during the news conference. “It’s a film that, among other things, plunges into the community, or at least the lives of Tamil refugees in Paris.”

France, with four films in competition, and Italy with three, are well represented unlike Latin America which is, so far at least, absent from the competition. Although, it seems that the film by Canadian-Québecois Denis Villeneuve, Sicario, is a thriller about drugs and gangs in Mexico.

Three films from Asia are drawing attention. Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Nie Yin-niang, which translates to the assassin, is a period martial arts film from Taiwan, but as Frémaux says, it is "in Hou’s very own style". Also in the running are, from Japan, Hirokazu Koreda's Ummimachi Diari (Our Little Sister) and the much-awaited latest offering from China’s Jia Zhang-ke, whose A Touch of Sin won Best Scenario Palm at Cannes in 2013.

They'll be competing with Norwegian Joachim Trier's Louder than Bombs, Greek Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster and Australian Justin Kurzel's take on the Shakespeare character Macbeth.

As for the newcomers, Frémaux promises a healthy debate around a first feature from Hungary, set in World War Two, called The Son of Saul, by Laszlo Nemes. Intriguing.

Films from African directors? None yet in the main competition line-up, but a special screening allocated to a veteran director from Mali, Souleymane Cissé. He is best remembered for Yeleen in 1987, which won the Jury Prize that year at Cannes.

The Festival has finalised 17 films out of the 20 which they say will make it to the competitions so more should be added in comings weeks.

Standing Tall, a French film starring Catherine Deneuve and directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, will open the festival out of competition.

The Cannes Film Festival will run from 13 to 24 May.

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