Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu has been named jury president for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, set to run from May 14-25 this year.
“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career. I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the jury,” said Iñárritu.
“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.”
Iñárritu first came to Cannes in 2000 with his debut feature Amores Perros which premiered in the parallel section, Cannes Critics’ Week. It won the grand prize and went on to earn best foreign-language film nominations at both the Golden Globes and Oscars in 2001.
He returned to the Croisette to compete in Official Selection in 2006 with Babel, for which he won best director, and in 2010 with Biutiful.
In 2017, Iñárritu became the first filmmaker to showcase a virtual reality project in Official Selection with his innovative installation Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible), a joint work with cinematographer and long-time collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki exploring the global refugee crisis.
Iñárritu won Academy Awards for best director for The Revenant in 2016 and best film, director and original screenplay for Birdman in 2015. He also received a special achievement award from the academy for Carne y Arena in 2018.
Cannes Film Festival president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Frémaux said they were delighted Iñárritu had accepted their invitation.
“It is very rare for Alejandro G. Iñárritu 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 Babel’s director, it is Mexican cinema that the festival will be celebrating.”
“Not only is he a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises, Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time. We are always happy to welcome him on the Croisette and, in 2017, have been particularly proud to present Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) into the Official Selection, a virtual reality installation that addressed the question of migrants with great strength and humanity.”
Cate Blanchett was jury president of the 71st edition of Cannes when the Palme d’Or went to Shoplifters by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.