Cannes 2016: Film Festival to Welcome Woody Allen, Julia Roberts and Jodie Foster

Pierre Lescure and Thierry Fremaux
Cannes Film Festival president Pierre Lescure (R) and general delegate Thierry Fremaux (L) attend a news conference to announce the competing films at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Paris, France, April 14, 2016. Charles Platiau/Reuters

Oscar winners Julia Roberts and Jodie Foster will be gracing the red carpet at next month's Cannes Film Festival but it is actress Kristen Stewart who grabbed the early spotlight after being dubbed "Queen of Cannes" by organizers on Thursday.

Organizers announced Woody Allen's Café Society, featuring Stewart, will open the 69th edition of the festival which will run from May 11 to 22. The American actress also stars in French director Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper, a film that will be vying for the Palme d'Or.

"She's in some ways the Queen of Cannes," festival director Thierry Fremaux said during a ceremony in a Champs Elysees cinema as he unveiled the list of movies that will be screened.

Fremaux and his team watched 1,869 films before shortlisting 49, 20 of them included in the main competition, whose jury will be presided by Mad Max director George Miller.

Two films expected to gain a lot of attention despite being screened 'out of competition' will be Steven Spielberg's The BFG, based on the novel by Roald Dahl, and the American thriller Money Monster which is directed by Jodie Foster and stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

While Roberts has never previously featured in a Cannes film, Foster will be at the festival for the first time as a director.

Canadian rising director Xavier Dolan, who won the Jury Prize with Mommy in 2014, is back with It's Only the End of the World.

Jim Jarmusch will have a double presence on the Riviera with a documentary on Iggy Pop, Gimme Danger and Paterson, which will be screened in the main competition.

For the first time the winner of the of the Palme d'Or will be screened at the closing ceremony.

The main competition will feature former Palme d'Or winners Jean-Pierre, Luc Dardenne and Ken Loach.

Pedro Almodovar, whose name appeared in the Panama Papers scandal, is also in the main competition alongside Paul Verhoeven.

Thursday's launch ceremony started following a demonstration by showbusiness workers, who demanded an improvement of their working conditions.