The Cannes International Film Festival's 2013 line-up has been announced, with films from some of the world's most dangerous locales for artists alongside a sprinkling of works by old favourites including Roman Polanski, the Coen brothers and Steven Soderbergh.
Celebrating world cinema from countries with limited freedom of expression is clearly one of this year's stories, with works from Chad, China, Mexico and Iran among the 19 films competing for the Palme d'Or, one of cinema's most coveted prizes.
"The festival is a house that shelters artists in danger," said the Cannes president Gilles Jacob, who announced the nominees.
Harking from Africa, Grigris by the Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun will feature alongside The Life of Adele from the French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche. Zulu - a police thriller shot in South Africa and starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom - will close the festival but is not competing.
The list also includes A Touch of Sin by the Chinese director Jia Zhangke; The Past, from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, featuring Tahar Rahim and Berenice Bejo, who garnered attention for The Artist; and the Mexican film Heli by director Amat Escalante, who explores how love and family ties can provide solace in the desperation stemming from drug trafficking.
Old favourite filmmakers of the festival also fare well. Joel and Ethan Coen, who won the Palme d'Or in 1991 for Barton Fink, will show their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis, set in New York in the 1960s folk music scene, starring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman.
Soderbergh, who caused controversy with 1989's Palme d'Or winner Sex, Lies and Videotape, is back with Behind the Candelabra, based on the autobiographical novel in which Scott Thorson recounts his relationship with the flamboyant pianist Liberace.
Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur could give the Oscar-winning Polish director his second Cannes accolade. He won in 2002 with The Pianist.
Only God Forgives, Ryan Gosling's second film with his Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, is also in the running. Gosling, paired with Kristin Scott Thomas, stars as a criminal in the Bangkok underworld.
Other nominees selected from 1,858 submissions include the Japanese director Takashi Miike and Sophia Coppola, whose The Bling Ring will open the Un Certain Regard section. - AP
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