Finally Steven Spielberg has found time in his busy schedule to preside over the Jury of the Cannes Film Festival this year, having been sought for years by the event’s organisers. He will be taking over from last year’s head of the jury, Italian Nanni Moretti.
“My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none,” Spielberg stated. “The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as cross cultural and generational medium.”
The iconic director first attended the Cannes Film Festival with Sugarland Express in 1974, for which he won the Best Screenplay. He returned with The Color Purple, but it was the world premiere of E.T. that forged the bond between him and the event. “Ever since, I’ve often asked Steven to be Jury President, but he’s always been shooting a film,” said Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival. “So when this year I was told ‘E.T., phone home,’ I understood and immediately replied: ‘At last!'”
Previous president of Cannes juries includes Clint Eastwood, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski and Quentin Tarantino. This year’s event will take place May 15-26.