The countdown to the 65th Festival de Cannes began in earnest today with the news that the 2012 event will open with Wes Anderson's latest, Moonrise Kingdom. Written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, the film stars Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman. The festival will open on May 16th and run through May 27th in the South of France.

Anderson's latest was filmed on a New England island and, in the words of a festival announcement, “recounts a tormented and surprising story of children and adults during the stormy days of the summer of 1965.” It features music composed by Alexandre Desplat.

Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson's seventh feature film following Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).

“Wes Anderson is one of the rising powers of American cinema, to which he brings a highly personal touch, particularly in Moonrise Kingdom, which once again is a testimony to the creative freedom in which he continues to evolve,” said the Cannes festival's Thierry Frémaux, in a statement. “Sensitive and independent, this admirer of Fellini and Renoir is also in his own right a brilliant and inventive filmmaker.”

“With Wes Anderson opening the 65th Festival de Cannes, young American cinema will be celebrated on the Croisette,” added festival President Gilles Jacob, in a statement.

Moonrise Kingdom will open in France on the same day that it ushers in the Cannes fest. The film will debut in U.S. theaters on May 25, 2012.

Cannes Film Festival organizers will unveil the complete lineup for the 2012 event on April 19th in Paris.

Pictured: Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Photo copyright Focus Features