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By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 21, 2004 01:15 PM
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Not a bad roster: Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy and a lovable monster named Shrek are due at the film community’s annual rite of spring, the May 12-23 Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, organizers announced Wednesday.

“Kill Bill” director Quentin Tarantino will head the nine-member jury that also includes Kathleen Turner, French siren Emmanuelle Beart and edgy British actress Tilda Swinton, reports Reuters.

There will be 18 films in competition, including “Shrek 2” and the Coen Brothers’ “The Ladykillers” (despite the tepid reception in America), as well as three films from France and, for the first time, one from Thailand. “Troy,” starring Pitt, is due to be shown out of competition.

Also up for the Palme d’Or will be Britain’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” about the late “Pink Panther” comic starring Geoffrey Rush and Theron, and Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Opening night will feature Pedro Almodovar’s “Bad Education,” while the fest will close with the feature biography of the ’30s and ’40s American composing legend Cole Porter, “De-Lovely,” starring Kevin Kline.

The fest’s artistic director, Thierry Fremaux, said in a statement: “The festival has been spreading the word that it is open to all types of films. With the spotlight on animated features and documentaries, the festival continues preoccupations begun in 2001” — which is when Cannes first got a look at the original “Shrek.”