Steven Spielberg Will Lead the Cannes Film Festival Jury

By Katey Rich 2013-02-28 06:20:53discussion comments
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Even though a Best Picture win for Lincoln eluded him at last Sunday's Oscars, Steven Spielberg has accomplished virtually everything possible for an American filmmaker-- his name as this point is practically synonymous with "movies." But can the king of American blockbuster cinema make just as big an impact at the fanciest, most prestigious film festival on the planet?

He's gonna give it a shot, at least. The Cannes Film Festival has officially announced that Spielberg will serve as the Jury President for their 66th Festival, which gets started on May 15 this year. Here's what he had to say about the job in the official announcement, after the festival's head Thierry Fremaux admitted he's spent the last two years trying to get Spielberg to free up his schedule and actually accept the position:

“The memory of my first Cannes Film Festival, nearly 31 years ago with the debut of E.T., is still one of the most vibrant memories of my career. For over six decades, Cannes has served as a platform for extraordinary films to be discovered and introduced to the world for the first time. It is an honor and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world.”

Spielberg also won a prize at Cannes for his very first film, Sugarland Express, in 1974, and was there just a few years ago with the premiere of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (that's not mentioned in the official release, and you can't really blame them for not bringing it up). Though Cannes hosts a handful of big potential blockbuster premieres each year, the films in competition are typically much smaller-- but given how much Spielberg knows about movies at this point, he ought to have no trouble making that kind of transition. Plus, after the grinding process of bringing Lincoln through awards season, he now gets to spend time at a film festival in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Not a bad consolation prize for that Best Picture loss.

(Steven Spielberg image via Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com)
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