Quentin Tarantino's new film and a drama featuring former footballer Eric Cantona are among productions vying for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cannes chiefs Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux unveiled a list of 20 films competing for the prestigious prize at a press conference in Paris on Thursday, with Tarantino's upcoming Inglourious Basterds included.

The World War II drama sees Brad Pitt leading a crew of Jewish-American soldiers aiming to exact bloody revenge on the Nazis.

Looking for Eric, the new effort from 2006 Palme d'Or winner Ken Loach, is also shortlisted - Loach's ninth nomination - while films from Jane Campion, Pedro Almodovar and Ang Lee are also included.

Tarantino, who won the Palme d'Or in 1994 for his sophomore film Pulp Fiction, is the only US nominee in the 2009 shortlist while Lee's Taking Woodstock, a comedy-drama about the 1969 music festival, was a last-minute inclusion in the list of nominees.

Campion is shortlisted for Bright Star, a biopic of poets John Keats featuring young British actor Ben Whishaw, with Almodovar melodrama Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces) and Lars Von Trier's Antichrist also among the 2009 entrants.

Some 52 films will be screened in total, with 20 in competition and Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Heath Ledger's final film - among those screening out of competition.

The 2009 festival will open on May 13th with a screening of eagerly-awaited Pixar animation Up and close on May 24th with Jan Koenen's Coco Chanel biopic Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.

23/04/2009 11:32:56