PARIS-Movies by David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach are among the films selected to compete for the top Palme d’Or prize at next month’s Cannes Film Festival, organisers said on Thursday.

Just 18 of the more than 1,700 films submitted have been rewarded with a coveted slot on the Cannes shortlist. Cronenberg’s ‘Maps to the Stars’, Godard’s ‘Adieu au Langage’, Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’ and Loach’s ‘Jimmy’s Hall’, which is expected to be his last feature, will all be in competition at the May 14-25 movie extravaganza on the French Riviera.

Out of competition, Hollywood star Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut ‘Lost River’ starring Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks gets a berth in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ new talent section. Held almost every year since 1946, the festival is famed as much for launching the careers of filmmakers such as Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino as for its glitzy red carpet photo calls, luxury yachts, star-studded parties and diamond heists.

Behind the scenes, film industry executives and producers turn the festival into a huge marketplace as they cut deals to secure a share in the next big movie event. Other films in this year’s competition include ‘The Homesman’ by Tommy Lee Jones, ‘The Search’ by Michel Hazanavicius, ‘Captives’ by Atom Egoyan, ‘Saint Laurent’ by Bertrand Bonello, ‘Sils Maria’ by Olivier Assayas and ‘Two Days, One Night’ by the Dardenne brothers.

From Asia, Japan’s Naomi Kawase makes the cut with ‘Futatsume No Mado’ while Abderrahmane Sissako from Mauritania is included with ‘Timbuktu’. The 2014 roll call raises the prospect of an abundance of big names on the fabled red carpet such as Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore (‘Maps to the Stars’), Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep (‘The Homesman’), Berenice Bejo and Annette Bening (‘The Search’) and Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart (‘Sils Maria’).

Films in the running for Cannes festival

‘Sils Maria’, Olivier Assayas

‘Saint Laurent’, Bertrand Bonello

‘Kis Uykusu’, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

‘Maps to the Stars’, David Cronenberg

‘Deux Jours, Une Nuit’, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

‘Mommy’, Xavier Dolan

‘Captives’, Atom Egoyan

‘Adieu au Langage’, Jean-Luc Godard

‘The Search’, Michel Hazanavicius

‘The Homesman’, Tommy Lee Jones

‘Futatsume no mado’, Naomi Kawase

‘Mr Turner’, Mike Leigh

‘Jimmy’s Hall’, Ken Loach

‘Foxcatcher’, Bennett Miller

‘Le Meraviglie’ Alice Rohrwacher

‘Wild Tales’, Damian Szifron

‘Timbuktu’, Abderrahmane Sissako

‘Leviathan’, Andrei Zvyagintsev