British directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh in running at Cannes Film Festival 2014

British directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh in running at Cannes Film Festival 2014
By Chris Harris with REUTERS
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British directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh are in the running to triumph at the world's marquee film festival.

Both will compete for the top Palme d’Or prize at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, which takes place from May 14-25.

They join French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, 83, who has the festival’s shortest film, Adieu Au Langage, at 1h 10m.

Also competing are Belgian siblings Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; David Cronenberg; Tommy Lee Jones; and The Artist director Michel Hazavinicius.

Leigh has been chosen for his biopic of painter JMW Turner and Loach for Jimmy’s Hall, a film about a Irish political activist.

Watch the Cannes Film Festival 2014 press conference

The festival will open with an out-of-competition screen of Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Frenchman Olivier Dahan.

Oscar-winning New Zealand director Jane Campion will lead the jury for the main competition. She is the first and only woman to have won the top Cannes prize, the Palme d’Or, in 1993 for The Piano.

A total of 49 long-form films were chosen to be shown at the festival out of 1,800 submitted. The selected movies are from 28 countries and 15 of the directors are women.

The festival is one of the world’s oldest and swankiest, with stars and movie moguls often showing up at the Mediterranean port city on enormous yachts.

The official poster this year for the festival, which always pays homage to the film greats of the past, is a sepia-toned portrait of the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, who starred in Federico Fellini’s classic .

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