Greta Gerwig to Head 2024 Cannes Jury, a Historic First

Greta Gerwig to Head 2024 Cannes Jury, a Historic First: Greta Gerwig, known for her roles as an actor, writer, and film director, including her work on the upcoming blockbuster “Barbie,” has been selected to lead the jury of the 77th Cannes Film Festival in May. This historic appointment marks the first time an American female director has been chosen as the president of the Cannes jury, as announced by the festival on Thursday.

At 40 years old, Greta Gerwig assumes the role of Cannes Film Festival jury president, making her the youngest person to undertake this position since Sofia Loren, who presided over the Cannes jury in 1966 at the age of 31, as highlighted in the festival’s statement. “I’m overwhelmed, enthusiastic, and touched with humility,” Gerwig expressed in the statement. “I can’t wait to discover what voyages await us!” She characterized Cannes as “the pinnacle of what the universal language of movies can be.”

Festival officials were also enthusiastic about their selection of Gerwig as the jury president for the May 14-25 festival on the French Riviera, a premier film extravaganza.

“This is an obvious choice since Greta Gerwig so audaciously embodies the renewal of world cinema, for which Cannes is each year both the forerunner and the sounding board,” stated festival president Iris Knobloch and general delegate Thierry Frémaux.
Gerwig also represents “an era that is breaking down barriers and mixing genres, thereby elevating the values of intelligence and humanism,” they added.

One other American woman has led the Cannes jury: Olivia de Haviland in 1965. Unlike Gerwig, the actress never directed movies. Gerwig began her career as an actress before moving into writing movies, then co-directing and finally flying solo in the director’s chair, notably with “Lady Bird” in 2017, nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Director, followed by “Little Women,” and then “Barbie,” released last July. There, she transformed the famous Barbie doll into a living young woman, raucously exploring sexism and women’s independence.

“An international cultural phenomenon, Barbie is the biggest success of the year and has made Greta Gerwig the most bankable female film director in history,” the statement by the Cannes Festival said. Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund headed last year’s festival.
The rest of the jury has yet to be announced. Films competing in the 2024 film festival are to be unveiled in mid-April.

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