The 2012 Cannes film festival will open with Wes Anderson's 1960s drama "Moonrise Kingdom", starring Bruce Willis and Bill Murray, organizers said on Friday.
The story revolves around two young lovers who run away from their New England homes, prompting locals to send out a search party.
Cannes president Gilles Jacob said the choice of Anderson as the director of the opening movie was a way of showcasing young American cinema at the world's biggest film festival.
The winner of the coveted Palme d'Or for best picture last year was veteran U.S. film maker Terrence Malick and his epic tale "The Tree of Life".
Anderson, 42, is best known for quirky comedies like "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" as well as his animated adventure "Fantastic Mr. Fox".
This year's festival runs from May 16-27, and the jury picking the awards will be led by Italian actor/director Nanni Moretti, himself a Golden Palm winner in 2001.