Steven Spielberg Named Jury President at 66th Cannes Film Festival
Though he didn't win the Oscar this year (Lincoln did end up with two anyway), Steven Spielberg is still one of the world's greatest filmmakers. So much so that Cannes has chosen Spielberg to be the president of the jury at the 66th Cannes Film Festival taking place in France in May this summer. "My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none. The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross cultural and generational medium," he said of the honor. He'll lead the jury choosing the Palme d'Or at the festival.
Included in the announcement (via festival-cannes.fr) is a fun story from Gilles Jacob, president of the festival, explaining how he finally got Steven Spielberg to be on the jury this year since he isn't shooting a film at the moment (which is bad news for that sci-fi Robopocalypse). Here's how he explains the story:
"As they say across the Atlantic", said Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival de Cannes, "Steven Spielberg is a Cannes 'regular': Sugarland Express, Color Purple. But it was with E.T. that I screened as a world premiere in '82 that ties were made of the type you never forget. Ever since, I've often asked Steven to be Jury President, but he's always been shooting a film. So when this year I was told "E.T., phone home", I understood and immediately replied: "At last!"
I'm looking forward to seeing what films are chosen to play In Competition at this year's festival. Cannes' Thierry Frémaux states: "When meeting him these last few weeks it has been obvious he's excited about the job. Because of his films, and the many causes he holds dear, he's year-in year-out the equal of the very greatest Hollywood filmmakers. We are very proud to count him among us." Spielberg himself adds: "The memory of my first Cannes Film Festival, nearly 31 years ago with the debut of E.T., is still one of the most vibrant memories of my career. 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. It is an honor and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world."
The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15th to 26th this summer. I'll be attending for my fifth year in a row. I love the festival and something about this particularly excites me, like it might be a very memorable year for films playing in Cannes, but it might be too early to tell. For more info and details on Steven Spielberg, visit the news on Cannes' website. With the festival arriving in less than three months, we expect to see the official poster, more jury members, and eventually the full line-up of films announced in April.