Jane Campion to head Cannes Film Festival jury

By Daniel S Levine,

Director Jane Campion, the first woman to win the Palme D’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival, will now head the jury for this year’s prestigious festival in France. Campion follows in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg, who presided over the jury in 2013.

Campion is one of the most decorated directors at Cannes, first earning an award there in 1986 for her short film Peel. The New Zealand director was nominated for the Palme in 1989 for Sweetie and became the only female director to win when The Piano captivated audiences in 1993. The film, starring Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunter, was also a big winner at the Oscars, earning a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress win for Hunter.

She has also won acclaim for other films with strong female leads, including Portrait of a Lady, Holy Smoke and In The Cut. In 2009, her most recent film, Bright Star, was screened in competition at Cannes. Her most recent project was Sundance’s acclaimed mini-series Top of the Lake.

“I am truly honored to join with the Cannes Film Festival as President of the in Competition features for 2014,” Campion said in a statement released by the festival. “In fact I can't wait.”

Last year’s Palme D’Or went to Blue Is The Warmest Color and Spielberg’s jury elected to give the award to the film’s director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and its stars, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.

The 2014 Cannes festival is scheduled for May 14-25.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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