Cate Blanchett is no stranger to impressive titles. She has played a queen twice, a powerful Elf witch three times and now she adds president to the list. The two-time Academy Award winner will be the president of the 71st Cannes Film Festival beginning May 8.
Per THR, Blanchett responded to the announcement saying, “I have been to Cannes in many guises over the years; as an actress, producer, in the marketplace, the Gala-sphere and in Competition but never solely for the sheer pleasure of watching the cornucopia of films this great festival harbours.” Blanchett starred as the titular character in the Academy Award-nominated film Carol, which premiered at Cannes in 2015, and has appeared in numerous other films throughout Cannes history.
The actress joins an elite group of people who have presided over the jury at the festival including Steven Spielberg, Jane Campion, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and, most recently, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. Festival president Pierre Lescure and delegate-general Thierry Fremaux said they were “delighted to welcome such a rare and unique artist whose talent and convictions enrich both screen and stage.”
Blanchett’s job as president will be to select which films receives the coveted Cannes awards. A small jury of her peers, chosen from a wide range of international artists based on body of work and career respect, will join her in choosing the winners. The rest of the jury will be announced later this year before the festival begins.