Campion named president of the 2014 Cannes jury

Acclaimed New Zealand director, producer and screenwriter Jane Campion will succeed Steven Spielberg in presiding the Jury of the 2014 Festival de Cannes, it was announced yesterday.

Campion has long been involved with the Festival, starting with her first attendance in 1986.

“Since I first went to Cannes with my short films in 1986, I have had the opportunity to see the festival from many sides and my admiration for this Queen of film festivals has only grown larger. At the Cannes Film Festival they manage to combine and celebrate the glamour of the industry, the stars, the parties, the beaches, the business, while rigorously maintaining the festival's seriousness about the Art and excellence of new world cinema,” Campion said in the announcement published on the Cannes website.

Campion is also the only female director to have won the Palme d’or for The Piano in 1993, adding to her 1986 Short Film Palme d’or for Peel.

President of the Festival, Gilles Jacob, says of Campion: “Once upon a time there was an unknown young director from Down Under who was no doubt proud enough that the Festival de Cannes was going to present even one of the three short films she had just finished. But they were shot through with such courage and humanity and captured such a unique world that the Festival refused to choose and – in a masterstroke – screened all three, marking the advent of a true master. Jane Campion had arrived, and she brought a whole new style with her. That led toSweetie, The Piano and more recently Bright Star – that marvellous film, shot through, as ever, with poetry. You’ll hardly be surprised that amid such a welter of emotions, I’ve taken to calling her ‘My Lady Jane.’"

Adds Festival director Thierry Frémaux: “We are immensely proud that Jane Campion has accepted our invitation. Following on from Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Huppert in 2009, she is the latest distinguished name to grace a prestigious roster of female Presidents. Coming from a country and indeed a continent where film is a rare but powerful phenomenon, she is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public. And we are confident that her exacting approach will be mirrored by her Jury.”

The Festival de Cannes will be held from May 14 – 25, 2014.

To read the full announcement of Campion’s appointment, click here.