The 66th Cannes festival, which runs from May 15-26, will have the most star-studded jury in history. Founded in 1946, the most prestigious film festival has announced that Steven Spielberg, who serves as president of the jury, will be joined by Ang Lee and Nicole Kidman. Interestingly, all of them are Oscar winners.
"The Oscars (connection) is a coincidence as all these people are friends of Cannes. And don't forget that these stars are also involved and engaged in independent cinema," Cannes Artistic Director Thierry Fremaux told The Associated Press.
The "sparkling jury" is filled with other glittering names. "Django Unchained" star Christoph Waltz, French actor Daniel Auteuil and Bollywood blockbuster actress Vidya Balan are among the starry jury members. India becomes the special guest of this year's festival in celebration of Indian cinema's 100th anniversary.
Additionally, several directors take parts as the festival's jurors, including former Palme d'Or winner Cristian Mungiu, Scottish helmer Lynne Ramsay and Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase.
The highest honor given out at the festival is the Palme d'Or for the best film. The group of nine will decide which film deserves it among 20 entries, including Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra", Roman Polanski's "Venus in Fur" and "Only God Forgives", which stars Ryan Gosling.
"The Da Vinci Code" actress Audrey Tautou will preside over the opening and closing ceremonies for the festival.