Steven Spielberg will head the jury for the 2013 Cannes film festival, the first time the US director has taken the esteemed role. The filmmaker - whose movie lost out to Argo at the Academy Awards on Sunday - has a soft spot for the festival, having premiered his feature debut Sugarland Express and sci-fi classic ET there.

In a statement, Spielberg said "My admiration for the steadfast mission of the festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none. The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross-cultural and generational medium."

This year's Cannes film festival runs from May 15-26 and will see Spielberg joined by Oscar-winning New Zealand director Jane Campion on the Croisette. The pair will have the unenviable task of choosing the Palme d'Or winner from a slew of great movies, all championed by their respective casts, directors, publicists and studio heads. And Harvey Weinstein.

So which movies are likely to screen at Cannes this year?

Captain Phillips (Directed by Paul Greengrass)

Could Spielberg hand the Palme d'Or to his old pal Tom Hanks? The Hollywood actor heads up the cast for Greengrass' drama, adapted from the autobiography of Richard Phillips, the nerves of steel American sea captain whose container ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. Hanks hasn't been nominated for an Oscar since 2000, though 'Captain Phillips' is already generating awards season buzz.

The Counselor (Directed by Ridley Scott)

Starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, Ridley Scott's 'The Counselor' has a very Cannes feel to it. The three-time Oscar nominated director helms a project written by novelist Cormac McCarthy, his first-ever original screenplay. It follows the tale of a lawyer pulled into the murky world of drug trafficking and looks to be in with shot for the major awards. 

Foxcatcher (Directed by Bennett Miller)

This project boasts an incredible pedigree, with two time Oscar winner Bennett Miller at the helm and Hollywood's hottest new producer Megan Ellison working behind the scenes. It follows Steve Carell's character John du Pont - a millionaire wrestling enthusiast and paranoid schizophrenic convicted of killing his best friend, the Olympic gold medallist Dave Schultz (played by Mark Ruffalo). Channing Tatum plays Schultz's younger brother Mark. Though the Academy love funnymen turned serious, it still might be a little too goofy for Cannes. We'll soon find out.

Inside Llewyn Davis (Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen)

The Coen Brothers latest movie is a shoo-in for Cannes and is a prospective Oscar winner by default. No Country For Old Men, A Serious Man and True Grit all featured at the Academy Awards and this indie-style drama should be no different. It follows a young musician navigating the New York folk scene of the 1960s and looks fantastic. It has Roger Deakins on cinematography and a soundtrack produced by T Bone Burnett. A Palme d'Or contender for sure.

The Monuments Men (Directed by George Clooney)

George Clooney is looking to repeat his Argo success with The Monuments Men, about a squad of American and British museum directors, curators and historians who risked their lives to prevent the destruction of valuable works of art behind enemy lines in World War II. According to, the project was the reason why Clooney and co-star Jean Dujardin were sporting massive beards at the Oscars. What could possibly go wrong?

Tom HanksGeorge Clooney
Both Tom Hanks [L] and George Clooney [R] Could Feature At The Cannes Film Festival in 2013