CannesFestival organisers have announced the official lineup for this year's edition, with 19 films competing for the Palmed'Or - one less than 2005.
Many filmshad been predicted prior to the announcement, including Pedro Almodovar's Volver, SofiaCoppola's Marie-Antoinette, Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth,Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's
But despitethe re-appearance of names, including Ken Loach with The Wind That Shakes The Barley, festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux said, "If 2005 marked the return of the grand auteurs, this year is the contrary with new namesand films that could surprise us."
Certainlysurprising was the slim pickings for Asian titles in either Competition or UnCertain Regard, contrary to recent trends.
Along withCoppola, other
The UK'sAndrea Arnold makes Competition with her highly-anticipated debut, Red Road, while Belgiandirector Lucas Belvaux also makes his first trip toCannes with La Raison Du Plus Faible(The Weakest Is Always Right), andPortugal's Pedro Costa, with JuventudeEm Marcha is also asurprise name.
Turkishdirector Nuri Bilge Ceylanreturns to official competition after 2002's Uzakwith
Thefestival will open on May 17 with Ron Howard's The DaVinci Code and close with
Splashingmore new names than its sister, The Un Certain Regardsidebar features 23 films dominated by Eastern European countries including
The firstever Paraguayan film is also in the running from Paz Encinaentitled Hamaca Paraguaya.In all, eight first films are in the line up making them all eligible for the Camerad'Or whose jury is to be presided over by last year'sPalme d'Or winners Luc andJean-Pierre Dardenne.
Masterclasses will be given by actress Gena Rowlands, director Sydney Pollack and composer Alexandre Desplat in conjunctionwith director Jacques Audiard.
Thefestival runs from May 17-28.