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Pedro Almodovar named Cannes Film Festival jury president

Pedro Almodovar named Cannes Film Festival jury president
Spanish screenwriter, producer and director, Pedro Almodovar (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Pedro Almodovar will head the jury of the Cannes Film Festival when the prestige gathering kicks off May 17.

The Spanish auteur, who has brought five films to competition, will return to a group he first served with a quarter-century ago. In 1992, Almodovar was a part of a jury headed by Gerard Depardieu; the group selected Bille August's "The Best Intentions" for the top prize, the Palme d'Or.

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In a statement, Almodovar said he was "aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury and I hope to be up to the job." Festival organizers called the director a "unique and hugely popular artist."

The Cannes jury chooses the prizes for the 20 or so films in the main competition, regarded as the best from around the world. The festival has tended toward jury presidents from English-speaking countries in recent years, last choosing one from another place, Italy's Nanni Moretti, in 2012, and before that Isabelle Huppert in 2009.

Last year a jury headed by "Mad Max" director George Miller tabbed the Ken Loach social drama "I, Daniel Blake" for the Palme over the more critically lauded "Toni Erdmann." Fall films "Elle," "Loving" and "The Salesman" were also among the movies that premiered in competition.

Almodovar's own "Julieta," about a woman estranged from her daughter coming to terms with events from the past, also played in competition there.

Jurors and titles will be announced in the coming months.

Twitter: @ZeitchikLAT

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