Veronique Cayla and Thierry Fremaux are the two new names for every producer and director to watch, having today been appointed to top roles at the Cannes film festival.

The two will report directly to Gilles Jacob who is giving up his role as general manager, having taken over as festival president in June. The new triumvirate becomes effective from January 2001.

Fremaux, a film historian who was previously in the running to head the Cinematheque Francaise, will be responsible for selecting films for the official sections. He is currently director of the Institut Lymiere in Lyons and will continue in the two roles simultaneously.

Cayla, formerly with the Videotheque de Paris, the Centre National de la Cinematographie and MK2 for six years as managing director, will assume the administrative functions.

'We form a trio, in the musical sense, and will direct the festival in a collegiate fashion,' said Jacob.

Few observers, however, expect the Jacob imprint to be quickly erased from the festival's selection process. After 23 years in the job, the intelligent and discreet Jacob has made the festival his own kingdom and appeared to find it difficult to co-habit with his apparent protege Olivier Barrot, a noted TV journalist. Barrot left in March, having not been involved in the selection process. The omens for the new trio may be better; Jacob has taken his time to select skills and personalities that complement his own.