Ken Loach’s drama Jimmy's Hall, which concerns the Irish political activist James Gralton, is believed to be the veteran director’s last feature.
The British director explored a turbulent period in Irish history in the film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, starring Cillian Murphy. Jimmy Gralton was an Irish communist leader, who became a United States citizen after emigrating in 1909. He was said to be the only Irishman ever deported from Ireland.
Mike Leigh's biopic of the painter JMW Turner - Mr Turner - starring Timothy Spall will also be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Both films by these veteran directors - who are frequently judged to be the two best working in British cinema - will be in contention for the Palme d'Or.
Ryan Gosling will visit Cannes with Lost River, his first film as director. Also written by Gosling, the movie stars Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). They play characters who are entirely imagined by a disturbed youth.
The 67th Cannes film festival opens on May 14 with the world premiere of Grace of Monaco, a biopic of the famed American actress and princess, who was born Grace Kelly, with County Mayo roots. The film is directed by Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose) and it stars Nicole Kidman.
The festival will unveil new work from David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Godard, French film-maker Olivier Assayas and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Cronenberg's film, Map to the Stars, is described as a satire on Hollywood and is said to be similar to Robert Altman's The Player. The movie stars Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikoska, Julianne Moore and Carrie Fisher.
Other premieres include Olivier Assayas's Sils Maria. Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) is a young starlet making life miserable for Juliette Binoche, who plays an ageing actress.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the Grand Prix in 2011 for his brilliant, if slow-moving Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. His new film, Winter Sleep, will be shown at this year's Festival.
The Homesman, the second film directed by actor Tommy Lee Jones, will also be in contention for the Palme D’Or. Described as a western, it features Hilary Swank in charge of three mentally ill women. Jones plays the mischievous cowboy who leads them across the American mid-west.
Meanwhile, Steve Carell plays a darker role than usual in Foxcatcher. Based on a true story, it tells the story of eccentric millionaire John Eleuthère du Pont who befriends a pair of Olympic wrestling champions. Murder is the end result.
Woody Allen will not feature, although it had been suggested that the director was to present Magic in the Moonlight, his latest comedy drama, which stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone. The film was shot in the south of France.