The Israeli director Joseph Cedar's new film, "Footnote" ("He'arat Shulayim" ), has been chosen to compete in the Cannes Film Festival's official competition, contending for the prestigious Palme D'Or award, festival organizers said at a news conference in France yesterday.

Cedar's drama deals with the rivalry between a father and son, both Talmud scholars at Hebrew University. The movie stars Shlomo Bar'aba, Lior Ashkenazi and Alma Zack.

Cedar's previous film "Beaufort" won the Best Director award at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award [Oscar] for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008. "Footnote" is the first Israeli film to take part in the Cannes Festival's official competition since Ari Folman's "Waltz with Bashir" in 2008.

The 64th Cannes Film Festival will open on May 11 with Woody Allen's new movie "Midnight in Paris," which will be screened outside of competition with an all-star cast including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody.

The festival's impressive lineup consists of 49 feature films from 33 different countries, including 44 world premieres and a 19-film strong Competition.

Films by some of today's most prominent directors will premiere in the festival, including new works from Spanish helmer Pedro Almodovar, Danish director Lars von Trier, Finnish helmer Aki Kaurismaki, maverick U.S. director Terrence Malick, Italian directors Nanni Moretti and Paolo Sorrentino, the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Scottish director Lynne Ramsay, Japanese helmer Takashi Miike, Romanian-born, Paris-based helmer Radu Mihaileanu and French filmmaker Alain Cavalier.

Many of these directors have won prizes at previous Cannes festivals. The Dardenne brothers are the two-time winners of the Palme D'Or (the festival's highest prize ), which goes to the director of the best feature film of the official competition.

Jodie Foster's new movie "The Beaver," starring Mel Gibson, Jennifer Lawrence and Foster herself, will also be shown out of competiton, as will the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" in the Disney franchise, directed this time by Rob Marshall.

The competition's VIP jury will be led by actor Robert De Niro.

Two Israeli films will contend in the festival's Cinefondation category for students movies - Tel Aviv University's Ma'ayan Rypp for "Martha Must Fly" (Al Martha Lauf ) and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design's Anat Costi for "On My Doorstep" (Befetach Beity ).

This year's Un Certain Regard lineup will open with Restless, the latest movie from American helmer Gus Van Sant, and also feature Korean director Hong Sang-soo and French auteur Bruno Dumont.