PARIS - World cinema heavyweights including America's Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes, China's Jia Zhangke and Italy's Paolo Sorrentino will compete for prizes at next month's Cannes Film Festival, organizers announced Thursday.
Stars including Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Cate Blanchett, Michael Fassbender and Benicio del Toro will be on the red carpet -- but selfie sticks won't, if festival bosses have their way.
Cannes director Thierry Fremaux called selfies "ridiculous and grotesque" and said the festival strongly discouraged them.
Fremaux announced 17 films that will be competing at the May 13-24 festival, including "The Sea of Trees." Directed by Gus Van Sant ("Good Will Hunting"), the film about a man who ventures into a forest at the base of Mount Fuji to contemplate his life and death stars Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts.
Director Todd Haynes is bringing "Carol," a 1950s-set love story between two women starring Blanchett and Rooney Mara. "Carol" is based on a Patricia Highsmith romance novel, "The Price of Salt."
Sorrentino, whose "The Great Beauty" recently won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, directs Michael Caine in "Youth," about an aging orchestra conductor. It costars Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda and Harvey Keitel.
To watch a trailer for "Youth" click on the video player below.
Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth" stars Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, David Thewlis and Elizabeth Debicki.
Jia (whose 2013 film "A Touch of Sin" won the festival's screenplay award) directs "Mountains May Depart."
Also in the lineup are "Mia Madre" by Italy's Nanni Moretti, about a female filmmaker (Margherita Buy) clashing with her star (John Turturro) while facing her mother's imminent death; "Dheepan" by Jacques Audiard, about a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who escapes to France; and Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien' period martial arts drama, "The Assassin (Nie Yinniang)."
Cannes organizers have faced criticism for not selecting more films by female directors. For the first time in more than 25 years, this year's festival's opener is a film helmed by a woman, French director Emmanuelle Bercot's drama "La Tete Haute (Standing Tall)."
Two more female filmmakers, both French, are in competition: Valerie Donzelli with "Marguerite and Julien," and Maiwenn with "Mon Roi (My King)," starring Vincent Cassel.
Geographically, the entries range from Europe to China, Taiwan, South Korea, the U.S. and Mexico, the setting of Denis Villeneuve's narco-crime drama, "Sicario."
Genres covered extend to science fiction rom-com, in the form of "The Lobster," a film by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos that Fremaux called incomprehensible, in a good way.
Fremaux said several more films will be added to the competition before the festival opens.
Winners of the festival top prize, the Palme d'Or, and other awards will be chosen by a jury led by directors Joel and Ethan Coen.
For more details about the films in the main competition and in sidebar events, visit the festival's website.