As was planned, Gilles Jacob officially took over from Pierre Viot as president of the Cannes film festival on Monday (July 3), but the decision as to who will step into his shoes in the crucial role of director general will only be announced after the summer holidays.

Writer and journalist Olivier Barrot was in line for the position, and was appointed as a special advisor to Jacob. But his job evaporated only a month later, just prior to Cannes 2000, after apparently clashing with his boss.

Several names have been tipped for the director general's role - in which Jacob was in charge of the official selection - including politician Dominique Bredin, Le Monde film critic Jean-Marie Frodon and Les Cahiers du Cinema's chief editor Serge Toubiana. But the job could also be filled through internal promotion.

Jacob implied before Cannes that the role could be split into two, but the structure of the festival's management is unlikely to be deeply shaken. According to Barrot's statements after his departure, the difficulty in bringing about changes to the existing structure was the main reason behind his feud with Jacob.

In line with an established tradition, Pierre Viot has been named honorary president.