Kusturica will travel to Moscow for the opening night as well as a retrospective of his early work.
The festival will show more than 170 films, 20 of which are in the main competition. Three of the competition films are Russian productions: Larisa Sadilova's Nothing Personal (Nichevo lichnovo), Vera Storozhevaya's Journey with Household Pets (Puteshchestviye s domashnimy zhivotnymy) and Fishing Season (Putina), the last film from the late director Valery Ogorodnikov (The Barracks).
The jury president this year will be Australian director Fred Schepisi, who filmed his 1990 project The Russia House in Moscow. The other jury members include Anna Galiena, Ildiko Enyedi, Renata Litvinova, Dito Tsintsadze, Fred Roos and Othman Karim, whose film Om Sara won the Golden St. George Award for Best Film last year.
The jury of Perspectives, a competition for debut features, is comprised of Alexei Popogrebsky, Iosif Feiginburg and Andrei Khalpakhchi.
Other expected guests are Francois Ozon, who will present his first English-language film Angel, and Joseph Fiennes, in town for the Russian premiere of Goodbye Bafana.
While iconic Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov is still president of the festival, a new company, Mediafest, is organising the entire festival this year after running just the opening and closing ceremonies for the previous five years. The firm has given the event something of a cosmetic revamp with new images on festival materials and awards.
The MIFF will feature several retrospectives, including Mikhalkov's List, in which the festival president will personally present nine films that have influenced his creative formation and Films About Andrei Tarkovsky, a collection of documentaries on the late, great Russian filmmaker in honour of what would have been his 75th birthday.
Other retrospectives are devoted to Milos Forman: The Early Years, The Golden Age of American Musicals, Stars of Silent Cinema, and Farewell, USSR, which showcases films shot in the twilight years of the Soviet Union.
The festival staff has not revealed an accurate budget for this year's event, but did say that state support this year is around $3.5m (90m roubles).
Viva, directed by Anne Biller (US)
Ledsaget Udgang, directed by Erik Clausen (Denmark)
Children of the USSR (Yaldey SSSR), directed by Felix Gerchikov (Israel)
The International (Beynelmilel), directed by Muhharem Gulmez and Sirri Surreya Onder (Turkey)
Broken English, directed by Zoe Cassavetes (US)
Mein Fuhrer: The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler (Mein Fuhrer - Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler), directed by Dani Levy (Germany)
Moliere, directed by Laurent Tirard (France)
A Man's Work (Miehen tyo), directed by Aleksi Salmenpera (Finland)
Hope (Nadzieja), directed by Stanislaw Mucha (Poland)
The Unknown (La sconociuta), directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (Italy)
Opium, directed by Janosz Szasz (Hungary-Germany)
Park (Gongyuan), directed by Yin Lichuan (China)
Russian Triangle (Rusuli samkudhedi), directed by Aleko Tsabadze (Georgia)
By the River (U reki), directed by Eva Neiman (Ukraine)
The Inugamis (Inugamike no ichizoku), directed by Kon Ichikawa (Japan)
Noise, directed by Henry Bean (US)
Eduart, directed by Angeliki Antoniou (Greece)
Nothing Personal (Nichevo lichnovo), directed by Larisa Sadilova (Russia) Journey with Household Pets (Puteshchestviye s domashnimy zhivotnymy), directed by Vera Storozhevaya (Russia)
Fishing Season (Putina), directed by Valery Ogorodnikov (Russia)
Holy World (Heile Welt), directed by Jakob M. Erwa (Austria)
Battleship on Land (Gunkan promi tsuika), directed by Yasuhiro Yamamoto (Japan)
The Other Half (Ondre omgang), directed by Hilda Heier (Norway)
Breathe! (Tyyn!), directed by Sergei Potapov (Russia)
How Much Further (Que tan lejos), directed by Tania Hermida (Ecuador)
Little White Lies, directed by Caradog W. James (UK)
Monotony (Monotonija), directed by Juris Poskus (Latvia)
The Dog (Le chien), directed by Christian Monnier (France)
The Terror That's Always with You (Uzhas, kotoriy vsegda s toboy), directed by Arkady Yankhis (Russia)
Shima, directed by Bakhodyr Yuldashev (Uzbekistan)