Oliver Stone - whose latest title, Any Given Sunday, opens in France on April 12 - will chair the jury of the 18th Festival of Cognac (April 6-9), which focuses on thrillers and crime stories.

Stone was involved, through his production company Illusion Entertainment, in 1997 Cognac grand prize-winner Freeway, directed by Matthew Bright, for which Reese Witherspoon also received the best actress award.

John Frankenheimer's Ben Affleck-starrer Reindeer Games will open the event which is expected to welcome Christopher Walken - for Myles Connell's The Opportunist - and Linda Fiorentino, who stars in two competition titles, Thaddeus O'Sullivan's Ordinary Decent Criminal and Marek Kanievska's Where The Money Is.

Other titles in the all English-language line-up include Scott Sanders' Thick As Thieves, starring Alec Baldwin and Rebecca de Mornay, and Anthony Waller's The Guilty, starring Bill Pullman and Gabrielle Anwar, which will close the festival out of competition.