Australian filmmaker and former Palme d’Or winner Jane Campion has been named president of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival competition jury.
Campion will lead a group that has the task of handing out the Palme and other top prizes to the approximately 20 competition films.
Campion has a deep history with Cannes. She is the only female director to have won the Palme, taking the honor for “The Piano” in 1993. She appeared at the festival with her period drama “Bright Star” in 2009 and godfathered the Australian coming-of-age drama “Sleeping Beauty” two years ago.
Festival director Thierry Fremaux said in a statement that Campion “is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public. “
Her most recent work was “Top of the Lake,” a mystery-drama TV miniseries that played the Sundance Film Festival and other movie confabs last year and became a critical darling.
Campion takes over a role that had been held by American filmmakers in three of the last four years, with Tim Burton, Robert De Niro and Steven Spielberg occupying the spot in 2010, 2011 and 2013, respectively. Last year Spielberg presided over a jury that handed the Palme d’Or to the French drama “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” which proceeded to garner attention for its explicit sex scenes as well as infighting among its filmmaker and cast members.
The festival, considered the most prestigious in the world, is ground zero for the world’s most influential cinema. The Palme winners in 2011 and 2012, “The Tree of Life” and “Amour,” went on to become art house hits and forces on the awards circuit.
The Cannes International Film Festival is scheduled to be held May 14-24.
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