President of the Cannes Film Festival Pierre Lescure (L) and French Director Thierry Fremaux pose next to the official poster of the 71st Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on April 12, 2018 in Paris. The 2018 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 8 until May 19. (AFP/Stephane de Sakutin)
From an African-American detective infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan to Kurdish female fighters battling jihadists, here are the movies that will battle it out for the top Palme d'Or prize at next month's Cannes film festival:
- Everbody Knows -
Iranian master Asghar Farhadi will kick off the festival with a psychological thriller about a family reunion going awry, featuring Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. While Farhadi, 45, won an Oscar and the Golden Bear at Berlin for his 2011 breakthrough film, A Separation, he is yet to take home the coveted French prize.
- BlacKkKlansman -
US director and activist Spike Lee's drama is based on the real-life story of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1978. John David Washington plays him with Adam Driver as his Jewish police partner. The film will open in the US on the first anniversary of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville where an anti-racism activist was killed.
- Under the Silver Lake -
Four years after giving Cannes audiences nightmares with his thriller It Follows, David Robert Mitchell returns with another spine-chiller, this time about the mysterious murder of a billionaire.
- Three Faces -
Little is known about this portrait of three women by the Iranian dissident Jafar Panahi, who is banned from travel by Tehran. The festival has pleaded with the authorities to let the director, who has faced years of harassment and arrest, to fly to Cannes to show his film.
- Leto -
Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov is another director who may not be able to present his work at Cannes. Under house arrest over allegations of embezzlement, his film focuses on Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi and the birth of Russian underground music in the 1980s.
- At War -
As France grapples with mass strikes, French director Stephane Brize's gritty drama about factory workers battling to keep their jobs may hit a timely nerve.
- Dogman -
Italian director Matteo Garrone's new work is not for the faint-hearted. Dubbed an "urban Western", the film is inspired by the gruesome murder by dog groomer and cocaine addict Pietro De Negri in the late 1980s.
- Cold War -
Amazon Studios is pinning its hopes on this period romance from Oscar-winning Polish-British director Pawel Pawlikowski set in Eastern Europe in the 1950s.
- Le Livre d'image -
Little has been revealed about this new film by French-Swiss legend Jean-Luc Godard other than this enigmatic synopsis: "Nothing but silence, nothing but a revolutionary song, a story in five chapters like the five fingers of a hand."
- Capernaum -
Lebanese actress-turned-filmmaker Nadine Labaki's third film is set in a Middle Eastern town. Her previous film Where Do We Go Now? premiered at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section in 2010.
- Burning -
South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong's new mystery drama is drawn from a short story by Japanese master Haruki Murakami, Barn Burning.
- Ash is Purest White -
Chinese director Jia Zhangke's new film is a story of "violent love" between a mobster and a dancer starring Zhao Tao and Liao Fan. It is a follow-up to Zhangke's Mountains May Depart, which competed for the Palme d'Or in 2015.
- Asako 1 & 2 -
In this Japanese drama by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, a young woman meets her first love in Osaka. When he disappears without a trace, she moves on -- until his perfect double shows up two years later.
- Les Filles du Soleil -
Kurdish women fighters stand at the centre of French actor-director Eva Husson's new film. Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani plays Bahar, the leader of the Yazidi Sun Brigade battling jihadists.
- Shoplifters -
Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda, a longtime sweetheart of the Cannes jury, returns with a tale of a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they find on the street.
- Yomeddine -
A Coptic leper and his orphaned apprentice leave the confines of their colony for the first time and embark on a journey across Egypt to search for what is left of their families.
- Lazzaro Felice -
Rising star Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, already a prize winner at Cannes, is back with a time-travelling story which takes in the fascist 1930s.
- Sorry Angel -
The new film by Christophe Honore, the man behind the charming French musical Love Songs, is a gay love story when the AIDS epidemic was at its height.