Spain’s Pedro Almodóvar to head Cannes film festival jury

Director is first Spaniard to get tapped for the job, and says he is “honored and a bit overwhelmed”

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar will head the jury of this year’s Cannes film festival, said organizers on Tuesday. It is the first time in the event’s 70-year history that a Spaniard has been picked for the role.

Pedro Almodóvar and actress Adriana Ugarte in December 2016.
Pedro Almodóvar and actress Adriana Ugarte in December 2016.Adam Nurkiewicz (Wire Image)

The acclaimed Spanish moviemaker, famous for a wide range of films including Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Talk to Her and, most recently, Julieta, said he is “grateful, honored and a bit overwhelmed” by the appointment.

“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,” said Almodóvar in a statement.

A long and loyal friendship binds Pedro Almodóvar to the Festival

Festival President Pierre Lescure

The festival will take place between May 17 and 28.

“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, in a press release.

Even though Almodóvar won the Oscar for best foreign film with All About my Mother, and the best director award at Cannes in 1999 for the same film, he has never received the coveted Palme d’Or, the top prize at the glamorous event in the south of France.

His film Bad Education inaugurated the 2004 festival, and Almodóvar featured on the official poster of the 60th edition.

“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,” says the festival release.


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