It has been announced that Steven Spielberg will head this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury.
The jury is handed the task of awarding the festival’s top prize, the coveted Palme d’Or, at the event’s conclusion. This year’s festival will run from 15-26 May.
Spielberg, who himself has screened several films at the festival, stated, “For over six decades, Cannes has served as a platform for extraordinary films to be discovered and introduced to the world for the first time.”
He also added, “My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none.” Spielberg called his selection an “honour and a privilege.”
Spielberg ha made 27 films throughout his 40-year career, and his most recent film, Lincoln, won two awards including the best actor accolade for Daniel Day-Lewis at last Sunday’s Oscars. However it had been nominated for 12.
Thierry Fremaux, one of the festival’s organising committee, said, “Because of his films, and the many causes he holds dear, he is year-in year-out the equal of the very greatest Hollywood filmmakers. We are very proud to count him among us.”
He also added that Spielberg’s work landed, “between entertainment films and serious reflections on history, racism, and the human condition.”
Spielberg’s connected with the Cannes film festival began in 1974, when his movie, Sugarland Express, was selected for the 1974 event, and actually won the best screenplay award. Whilst his 1982 classic, E.T., was also shown at that year’s festival as the closing film.
The winner of last year’s Palme d’Or was Michael Haneke’s, Amour.