According to a recent Cannes Film Festival press release, American film director Steven Spielberg has signed on to be this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury president.
Spielberg had been asked to preside over the jury many times before by the organizers of the prestigious international film festival, but had never been able to do it because of a conflicting work schedule.
In the press release, Spielberg expressed his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of the festival that had meant so much to him over the years:
“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.”
His very first film, The Sugarland Express won Best Screenplay at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. And his widely successful 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial premiered in and was the closing film for the 1982 Cannes festival.
The 2012 Cannes Film Festival jury president was Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti.
The 66th Cannes Film Festival will run May 15-26.