PARIS - Cannes's Palme d'Or, which goes to the top movie at the film festival on the French Riviera, will be decided by a jury mostly made up of star actors and directors:
The Coen brothers
Joel and Ethan Coen, the sibling writing/directing duo behind quirky US cult hits "The Big Lebowski" and "Fargo", and the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men", are this year's co-presidents of the jury. Which could mean a bias for violent movies with dark humour?
The 34-year-old American has acting in his bones, born to film producer and film director parents and performing before the camera since age 11. "Donnie Darko" brought him notice that turned into fame when he starred in "Brokeback Mountain". Since then, his career has mixed commercial roles (in "Zodiac", "Prince of Persia" and "Source Code") with intriguing thespian picks ("Enemy", "Nightcrawler"). He should be seriously beefed up in Cannes, having packed on muscle for his soon-to-be-released movie "Southpaw", about a boxer.
The 33-year-old British actress's career took off in 2004's "Layer Cake" (which earned its star, Daniel Craig, the role of James Bond) and her turn as Andy Warhol's muse in 2005's "Factory Girl". A string of forgettable roles in movies such as "GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra" followed, although her career appears back on track now after supporting roles in two Oscar-nominated films last year, "Foxcatcher" and "American Sniper".
Sophie Marceau, 48, has carved out a more-than-three-decade-long career in her native France, and is probably best-known elsewhere for her turns in the big-budget studio movies "Braveheart" and as a Bond villain in "The World is Not Enough". She also has built up directing chops, with 2002's "Speak to Me of Love" and 2007's "Trivial".
Rossy de Palma
Long a go-to actress for legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Rossy de Palma is immediately recognisable by her unique looks. The 50-year-old Spanish actress was regularly cast in Almodovar films, starting with 1987's "Law of Desire", through to 2009's "Broken Embraces".
Guillermo del Toro
This Mexican director has become a powerhouse in Hollywood for his fantasy blockbusters that savvily balance human relationships and big-screen spectacle, in the style of "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson (he even joined Jackson in co-writing the screenplay for the recent "Hobbit" trilogy). Del Toro's Spanish-language "Pan's Labyrinth" won multiple Oscars for its lush and imaginative look, while his devilish superhero movie "Hellboy" and its sequel cemented his Hollywood status.
This 26-year-old Canadian is recognised as a directing prodigy. His French-language "Mommy" last year picked up Cannes's Jury Prize. His career started early, at age 20, with "I Killed my Mother". His first English-language feature, "The Death and Life of John F. Donovan", is due out next year.
This 41-year-old Malian is neither an actress nor a director, but her music, which restructures traditional standards from her country, has become a touchstone in the "world" genre. Her last album, "Beautiful Africa", came out in 2013.