LONDON — Movies by David Cronenberg, Claire Denis and Park Chan-wook will compete for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the event’s organizers announced on Thursday.
Films by previous winners Ruben Ostlund, Hirokazu Kore-eda and Cristian Mungiu will also be among the 18 titles in the running for the festival’s top award, as will a movie by the high-profile Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov.
An initial lineup of nearly 50 movies that will play in this year’s festival was announced on Thursday by Thierry Frémaux, Cannes’s artistic director, in an online news conference.
The event will open its 75th edition on May 17 with a comedy called “Z (Comme Z)” by Michel Hazanavicius, a French director best known for “The Artist.” The festival runs through May 28.
Cronenberg’s competition entry, “Crimes of the Future,” is his first movie since “Maps to the Stars,” which also premiered at Cannes, in 2014. “Crimes of the Future” stars Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen, and Frémaux noted that it would bring some glamour to the red carpet.
Denis’s “Stars at Noon” will be the director’s fifth movie at Cannes. Set in Nicaragua, it tells the story of a blossoming romance between an English businessman and an American journalist.
Park is presenting a detective movie, “Decision to Leave.” Although he has never won the Palme d’Or, he won the Grand Prix, the festival’s second-highest award, for his violent thriller “Oldboy” in 2004.
Most of the highest-profile movies that will play out of competition at Cannes were known before Thursday’s announcement. Baz Luhrmann will return to the Croisette to present “Elvis,” his biopic of the singer, starring Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as his manager, Col. Tom Parker.
On May 18, Tom Cruise is set to appear for the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” the highly anticipated, and repeatedly delayed, sequel to the fighter pilot movie that helped make Cruise a superstar.
Frémaux on Thursday announced a few more out-of-competition titles by high-profile directors. Ethan Coen will present his first movie directed without his usual collaborator, his brother, Joel: a documentary called “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind” about the rock ’n’ roll pioneer.
George Miller, the creator of the “Mad Max” franchise, will also return to Cannes with “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” a fantasy romance starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba, that Frémaux said was a philosophical “reflection on the history of the world.”
In the days leading up to Thursday’s announcement, there were suggestions that the lineup would include a new movie from David Lynch, his first feature since “Inland Empire” in 2006. But on Tuesday, Lynch laughed off the suggestion in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I have no new film coming out,” he said. “That’s a total rumor.”
Of the 18 movies in competition, only three are directed by women, Kelly Reichardt’s “Showing Up,” and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s “Les Amandiers” joining Denis’s “Stars at Noon.” Cannes has faced criticism in recent years for the dearth of female contestants for its top prize. Julia Ducournau took last year’s Palme d’Or for “Titane,” her violent horror movie about a woman sexually obsessed with cars. Yet she was only the second woman to win the prize, following Jane Campion’s 1993 win for “The Piano.”
The war in Ukraine will also cast a shadow over this year’s event. Since Russia’s invasion, some of Ukraine’s leading movie directors have called on film festivals to boycott Russian directors as a sign of support for Ukraine. Cannes said in a statement in March that it would no longer “welcome official Russian delegations, nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government,” but added that it would not ban Russian directors, several of whom have faced difficulties operating in their home country.
Serebrennikov, who is presenting a competition film about the marriage of a Russian cultural icon, “Tchaikovsky’s Wife,” spent almost two years under house arrest in Russia because of fraud charges. His conviction was widely seen within Russia as an attempt to crack down on artistic freedom.
Frémaux announced that two movies by Ukrainian directors would appear in the festival, including Maksim Nakonechnyi’s “Butterfly Vision” playing in the “Un Certain Regard” sidebar.
The jury for this year’s festival has not been finalized, Frémaux said on Thursday, adding that the movie lineup wasn’t entirely complete, either. The list of films would be “fine tuned” next week, he added, because “many films came in late” to the selection committee.