The Cannes Film Festival on Thursday announced its 2013 Official Selections, with Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic and Drive partnership Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn’s second film Only God Forgives emerging as the frontrunners for the coveted Palme d’Or.

Other films in the running for the top-price include Inside Llewyn Davis, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and Roman Polanski’s Venus In Fur.

The 66th annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to be run from May 15-26, with Oscar winning US director Steven Spielberg, whose latest film Lincoln has been nominated for a dozen awards at the Academy Awards ceremony recently, heading the panel of jury. Actress Tautou will host the event.

Soderbergh, who hit the jackpot in 1989 for his film Sex, Lies and Videotape, has made a stunning comeback in the competition with his hotly-anticipated movie Behind the Candelabra. The movie is starred by Michael Douglas, who will be seen as swashbuckling entertainer Liberace and veiling his homosexuality publically. His gay role in the movie, set to be aired on HBO later this month, is played by Matt Damon.

Directed by James Gray and starred by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner, The Immigrant is also expected to take the center-stage. The story of film rotates around a young girl, who snared into the life of vaudeville and burlesque.

American auteur director Alexandra Payne will present his comedy movie Nebraska, about a son and father, rambling from the Montana to Nebraska to get some money.

Another movie nominated for Palme d’Or was The violent thriller but it was vanquished by Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life. However, the movie helped director Refn to fall in best director category.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi – who claimed Best Foreign-Language Oscar in last year for his Persian Film A Separation, is also in the competition with his new film, The Past while contentious Japanese director Takashi Miike’s is also in contention with his crime-thriller Straw Shield.

The only British film featuring in the event is Stephen Frears’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.

Last year Michael Haneke’s Amour had won Palme d’Or while Grand Prix had went to Matteo Garrone.

Films in the competition:

Tian Zhu Ding directed by Zhangke Jia

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) directed by Paolo Sorrentino

Like Father Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru) directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu

Only God Forgives directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Borgman directed by Alex Van Warmerdam

Behind the Candelabra directed by Steven Soderbergh

Jimmy P (Un Indien des Plaines) directed by Arnaud Desplechin

Inside Llewyn Davis directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Venus in Fur (La Venua a la Fourrure) directed by Roman Polanski

Un Chateau en Italie directed by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi

Just 17 (Jeune & Jolie) directed by Francois Ozon

Straw Shield (Wara No Tate) directed by Takashi Miike

Michael Kohlhaas directed by Arnaud des Pallières

The Past (Le Passé) directed by Asghar Farhadi

Heli directed by Amat Escalante

The Immigrant directed by James Gray

Grisgris directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Nebraska directed by Alexander Payne

La Vie D’Adele directed by Abdellatif Kechiche

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