Youth-friendly, English-language directors and film personalities from Asia will anchor the main competition jury at the Cannes Film Festival when it gets underway next month.
Filmmakers Sofia Coppola, and Nicolas Winding Refn will serve on the jury, as will South Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon, Iranian actress Leila Hatami and Chinese director Jia Zhangke when it convenes under its chief, the previously announced Jane Campion.
In keeping with recent tradition, there is also a French actor (Carole Bouquet) and an English-language one (Willem Dafoe) on the nine-member panel, with Mexican hyphenate Gael Garcia Bernal rounding out the jury. The Cannes Film Festival kicks off May 14 with the opening-night film “Grace of Monaco.”
Besides acclaimed global directors who often have had past films at Cannes (Coppola, Refn and Jia all had films at the festival last year) the jury tends to be studded with boldfaced names; recent years saw Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Benicio Del Toro serve on the competition jury. This year’s jury is notable because it contains an even number of female and male directors, with Campion and Coppola joining Jia and Refn (Bernal does some directing too but of course is primarily an actor).
The jury this year will judge the 20 or so films that compose the main competition, which includes Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher,” Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner” and Tommy Lee Jones’ “The Homesman.” The top prize it will decide is the Palme d’Or, global cinema’s most prestigious honor.
Last year’s jury, presided over by Steven Spielberg, awarded the Palme to “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” the French lesbian drama that went on to be a conversation piece and arthouse breakout this past awards season.
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