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Famed director Pedro Almodovar has been named President of the Jury for the 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival this May.
“‘I am very happy to be able to celebrate Cannes Film Festival 70th anniversary from such a privileged position. I am grateful, honored and a bit overwhelmed,” the filmmaker said in a statement Monday.
“I am aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury and I hope to be up to the job. I can only tell that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure,” he added.
The auteur will serve as head of the jury at the invitation of festival president Pierre Lescure and festival director Thierry Frémaux.
Almodovar was at Cannes as recently as last year with his entry “Julieta,” a meditation on parenthood and guilt inspired by three short stories from the Alice Munro book “Runaway.”
Almodovar has directed nearly 20 films, his earlier career a prism for bold and unruly women in central roles, and commentary on politics, sexuality and the absurd.
His credits include “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down,” “All About My Mother,” “Talk To Her,” “Bad Education,” “Volver” and “The Skin I Live In.”
Read the official release:
Responding to the invitation of Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux, the filmmaker said: ‘I am very happy to be able to celebrate Cannes Film Festival 70th anniversary from such a privileged position. I am grateful, honoured and a bit overwhelmed. I am aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury and I hope to be up to the job. I can only tell that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure.’
With his dazzling and iconoclastic 35-year filmography, this virtuoso storyteller has forged a strong bond with filmgoers the world over. From Pepi, Luci, Bom (Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, 1982) to Julieta (2016), his 20 films form an incandescent work, a legacy of his punk, protest-filled youth, and driven by an insatiable passion for female figures and the history of film itself. Ever surprising and eclectic but always coherent, the director from La Mancha can turn his hand to any genre – vaudeville, farce, tragedy, fantasy, musical or thriller – while never losing sight of his pet themes: passion, filiation, destiny, guilt and buried secrets.
In films full of physicality and with a big heart, a troupe of actors faithfully follows the director and breathes life into his wonderfully human characters, including Penélope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Antonio Banderas, Rossy de Palma, Javier Bardem, Javier Cámara, Carmen Maura and Victoria Abril.
‘For its 70th edition, the Festival de Cannes is delighted to welcome a unique and hugely popular artist. His works have already carved out an eternal niche in the history of film. A long and loyal friendship binds Pedro Almodóvar to the Festival, where he was a member of the Jury under the presidency of Gérard Depardieu,’ said the President of the Festival, Pierre Lescure and Delegate-General Thierry Frémaux.
Five of his films – All About my Mother (Todo Sobre mi Madre, Best Director), Volver (Best Screenplay, Best Collective Female Performance), Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos), The Skin I Live In, and Julieta – have been selected in Competition. Finally Bad Education (La Mala Educación) opened the Festival in 2004 while the director himself featured on the poster of the 60th Festival.
Through the presence of this passionate film lover who constantly celebrates the magic powers of cinema and pays homage to the masters Sirk, Franju, Hitchcock and Buñuel, the Festival de Cannes pays tribute to a great international director and to a modern and free Spain.
The Festival de Cannes will take place from Wednesday 17 to Sunday 28 May 2017. The Official Selection and Members of the Jury will be announced in mid-April.