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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
UK and US lead Cannes line-up
24 Hour Party People
Steve Coogan stars in a movie about the Manchester Music scene

British and North American films will dominate the competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, the movie world's most prestigious industry gathering.

Organisers of 2002's event on Wednesday revealed that they had chosen three US films, three UK movies and one from Canada to vie for the coveted top prize of the Palme d'Or.

Click here to see the full list of competitors

Twenty-two feature films were selected to be screened in competition during the festival, from 15 until 26 May, including films from France, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.

But the inclusion of three British movies will be considered a major boost to the UK's often criticised film industry, especially since none made the list last year.

Gritty

The UK assault is led by the respected and established directors Mike Leigh, Michael Winterbottom and Ken Loach.

Leigh is best known for his honest and humorous portrayal of British society in films such as Secrets and Lies.

His Cannes presentation is the comedy drama All or Nothing, starring Timothy Spall - one of Leigh's favourite actors.

Ken Loach
Ken Loach: One of the three established British film-makers selected

Leigh's movies, although quintessentially British, have won considerable international acclaim.

Secrets and Lies was an Oscar winner, as was his musical departure Topsy Turvy, about operetta maestros Gilbert and Sullivan.

Michael Winterbottom's music industry biopic 24 Hour Party People is also in competition.

It stars the comedy actor Steve Coogan and traces the story of the golden era of Manchester's music scene in the late 1970s.

Ken Loach, who has made a name from gritty, often bleak, dramas about the harsher side of British life, such as Kathy Come Home, brings Sweet Sixteen to Cannes.

Gun crime

The US films include romantic comedy Punchdrunk Knuckle Love, starring Adam Sandler and Philip Seymour Hoffman, by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson stars in About Schmidt

Anderson has previously made an impression with the uneasy thriller Magnolia and black comedy Boogie Nights, about the 1970s porn industry.

About Schmidt by Alexander Payne and starring Jack Nicholson is also in the running as is documentary Bowling for Columbine.

Directed by Michael Moore, it looks at gun violence in the United States and the title refers to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in which 12 people died.

The Canadian film is Spider by David Cronenberg, director of The Fly and Crash.

Bollywood

Meanwhile, the Cannes line-up proves the increasing popularity in Europe of movies from India.

Song-and-dance feature Devdas, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali will be shown out of competition in a special screening during the festival.

The film stars Indian actors Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai and Jackie Shroff.

It is based on a classic Indian tragedy in which Devdas pines after his childhood sweetheart while rebuffing the advances of a love-struck prostitute.

Full list of selected films

In competition:

  • Punch-Drunk Love by Paul Thomas Anderson, United States

  • Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, United States

  • About Schmidt by Alexander Payne, United States

  • Demonlover by Olivier Assayas, France

  • Irreversible by Gaspar Noe, France

  • L'adversaire by Nicole Garcia, France

  • Marie-Jo et ses deux amours by Robert Guediguian, France

  • L'Ora di Religione (Il Sorriso di mia Madre) Marco Bellochio, Italy

  • Spider by David Cronenberg, Canada

  • Le Fils by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium

  • Kedma by Amos Gitai, Israel

  • Chihwaseon by Im Kwon-taek, South Korea

  • Ren Xiao Yao (Unknown Pleasures), Jia Zhang Ke, China

  • Mies Vailla Menneisyytta (The Man Without a Past) by Aki Kaurismaki, Finland

  • 10 by Abbas Kiarostami, Iran

  • All or Nothing by Mike Leigh, Britain

  • Sweet Sixteen by Ken Loach, Britain

  • 24-Hour Party People by Michael Winterbottom, Britain

  • O Principio da Incerteza by Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal

  • The Pianist by Roman Polanski, France

  • Russian Ark by Alexandre Sokurov, Russia

  • Intervention Divine by Elia Suleiman, Palestinian

    Out of competition:

  • Hollywood Ending by Woody Allen, United States

  • And now, Ladies and Gentlemen by Claude Lelouch, France

  • Spirit by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook, United States

  • Devdas by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, India

  • Ararat by Atom Egoyan, Canada

  • Cidado de Deus by Fernando Meirelles, Brazil

  • Murder by Numbers by Barbet Schroeder, France

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    See also:

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