It’s official: Cate Blanchett will head this year’s jury at the Cannes Film Festival, according to a statement from its organizers on Thursday. Blanchett, who’s won two Oscars for her roles in “The Aviator” and “Blue Jasmine,” will become the twelfth woman to lead the prestigious film jury at Cannes, according to The Guardian. Cannes president Pierre Lescure and delegate general Thierry Fremaux said of the appointment:
We’re very pleased to welcome a rare and unique artist with talent and conviction. Our conversations this autumn convince us she will be a committed president, and a passionate and generous spectator.
The news comes on the heels of the formation of a new female-led initiative to combat sexual harassment in Hollywood. Blanchett, along with 299 other influential women in the entertainment industry, launched “Time’s Up” in response to last fall’s assault and harassment allegations about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others who used their power and influence to silence their victims. Blanchett was one of many prominent actors who lent support to the women and men who came forward with sexual assault allegations.
Blanchett takes over as the Cannes Jury President from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (“Volver”), who lead the Cannes jury last summer and gave the coveted Palme d’Or to Ruben Ostlund’s “The Square.” Blanchett said of the honor:
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 harbors…I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year’s jury. This festival plays a pivotal role in bringing the world together to celebrate story; that strange and vital endeavour that all peoples share, understand and crave.”
The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 8-19.