The Cannes Film Festivalunveils the official line-up for its 58th edition in Paris today ata 9.30am (GMT) press conference.
For the first time in many yearsthere are few certain front-runners for a berth. Paris based distributors andsales agencies - usually a strong bellwether for the films that will make thecompetition - have been curiously unsure in their predictions. Some are saying,however, that there are likely to be fewer French films than in the past.
However, a number of filmsare strong favourites to make the running.
- George Lucas' finalinstallment in the Star Wars trilogy is heavily tipped to be theopening night film, screened out of competition.
- Woody Allen's Matchpointcould also grab a spot out of competition.
- Although it was believed tobe screening out of competition, rumour has it that Roberto Rodriguez and FrankMiller's hit Sin City has secured a competition spot in the mainsection.
- Gus Van Sant, who won thePalme d'Or in 2003 with Elephant, is seen as a likely candidate torevisit the Croisette with Last Days starring Michael Pitt.
- Another former Palme d'Orwinner, Lars von Trier, is also a strong favourite for a slot with Manderlay.The director last came to Cannes with Dogville in 2003.
- Former jury presidentPatrice Chereau should secure a return engagement with Gabrielle,based on a short story by Joseph Conrad and starring Pascal Greggory andIsabelle Huppert
- Canadian director AtomEgoyan's Where The Truth Lies is a strong competition contender,along with Italian director Marco Tullio Giordana's Once You're Born YouCan No Longer Hide.
- Cannes regular MichaelHaneke is said to be a lock for a competition spot with Hiddenstarring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil, as is David Cronenberg's AHistory Of Violence with Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello.
- Hong Kong's Johnny To couldmake his first trip to Cannes with Election, an unflinching viewof the Hong Kong triads.
- Jim Jarmusch's untitled pic, with JessicaLange, Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny and Sharon Stone, is also a strong contender,as is Martha Fiennes's Chromophobia, The Dardenne Brothers'The Child, Danis Tanovic's Hell and Wim Wenders' Don'tCome Knockin'.
See ScreenDaily.com throughout the day forinstant updates on the full Cannes selection.