The acclaimed director becomes the first Mexican artist to receive the honour.
With awards season done and dusted for another year, the film world now turns its attentions to the next major event on the calendar: the Cannes Film Festival.
For its 72nd edition, the festival has today announced that director Alejandro González Iñárritu will preside over the main competition jury – the first time a Mexican artist has received this honour. He succeeds Cate Blanchett, whose jury awarded the Palme d’Or to Hirokazu Koreeda’s Shoplifters in 2018.
Iñárritu has described Cannes as, “a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career. Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility, that we will assume with passion and devotion.”
The director is no stranger to Cannes, having brought his debut feature Amores Perros to the Critics’ Week sidebar back in 200o. Since then he’s returned to the festival on numerous occasions, most notably in 2006 when he left the Croisette clutching the Best Director Award for Babel. His follow-up, Biutiful, earned Javier Bardem the Best Actor Award at Cannes in 2010.
Festival President Pierre Lescure and General Delegate Thierry Frémaux have released a joint statement expressing their delight that Iñárritu has accepted their invitation: “It is very rare for Alejandro to agree to take part in a jury, and this is the first time that the Festival de Cannes Jury is to be chaired by a Mexican artist. Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of [this] director, it is Mexican cinema that the Festival will be celebrating.”
Following Alfonso Cuarón’s Best Director triumph at this year’s Academy Awards, this positive statement seems doubly significant at a time when a certain world leader continues to villainise Mexico and its people.
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival takes place from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 25 May. For more info visit festival-cannes.com
Published 27 Feb 2019
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