Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer in Cannes

FILE - Writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos won the Jury Prize award for The Lobster at Cannes. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

PARIS (AP) — A Civil War film by Sofia Coppola, a Ukrainian road movie and a drama about AIDS activism are among 18 films competing for prizes at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which organizers hope can help counter nationalist sentiment.

Also in the top competition are “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” a thriller from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos starring Kidman and Colin Farrell; “Okja,”a fantasy thriller by South Korea’s Bong Joon-Ho starring Tilda Swinton; French director Michel Hazanavicius’ tribute to the French New Wave, “Le Redoubtable” and sex-trafficking drama “You Were Never Really Here” from Britain’s Lynne Ramsay;

The festival is embracing virtual reality and cell phone video as it marks its 70th birthday this year. Festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux and President Pierre Lescure announced the dozens of films competing and showing during the May 17-28 festival at a press conference in Paris on Thursday.

Contenders for the Palme d’Or include Coppola’s spooky Civil War drama “The Beguiled,” starring Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst; American director Noah Baumbach’s family saga “The Meyerowitz Stories,” starring Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler; and fellow American Todd Haynes’ 1920s-set drama “Wonderstruck.”

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is an upcoming film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, from a screenplay by Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou. It stars Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman.

It has been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

On May 11, 2016, it was announced that Colin Farrell had been cast in the film, with Yorgos Lanthimos directing from a screenplay he had written with Efthymis Filipou, with Film4 Productions and Element Pictures producing the project. In June 2016, Nicole Kidman joined the cast of the film. In August 2016, Alicia Silverstone, Raffey Cassidy, Barry Keoghan, and Sunny Suljic joined the cast.