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Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or


Cannes darlings Ken Loach and Mike Leigh are set to go head to head for the coveted Palme d’Or as the two British representatives at this year’s festival competition.

Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival, named the movies selected for the 67 festival at a press conference in Paris, including the 18 competing for the Palme d’Or.

Among the titles selected in competition were Jimmy’s Hall, which is expected to be Loach’s last feature, as well as Leigh’s Mr Turner, about the life of celebrated landscape painter JMW Taylor.

Jane Campion, the Oscar-winning director of The Piano, is the chair of the jury this year following Steven Spielberg in 2013.

Other Cannes veterans to be in the running for the statuette are David Cronenberg with Maps to the Stars, Jean-Luc Godard with Adieu au Langage and Atom Egoyan with The Captive.

The Search, from The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius, and frontier drama The Homesman directed by Tommy Lee Jones also made the nominees.

Grace of Monaco, the Grace Kelly biopic starring Nicole Kidman, was already announced as the film to open the festival, although it is out of competition.

Another British film – Snow in Paradise, directed by Andrew Hulme – was selected in the Un Certain Regard competition, which will also see Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River.

Loach revealed last year Jimmy’s Hall was likely to be his last feature though he plans to continue making documentaries.

The film was saved by animation studio Pixar, who sent over their entire stock of edge numbering tape, crucial in syncing the picture and sound when cutting film together. Loach has resisted the move to shooting on digital cameras.