• France's news in English

Spielberg to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

AFP/The Local · 28 Feb 2013, 07:51

Published: 28 Feb 2013 07:51 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Spielberg, 66, one of the most powerful and respected film-makers in Hollywood, said he was flattered by the appointment.

"It is an honour and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world," he said in a statement.

The Cannes Film Festival organisers said it was the broad reach of his film-making that had made him an obvious choice to head up the jury.

The festival is one of the highlights in the international cinema calendar and this year runs between May 15th and May 26th.

Spielberg's work cuts across a broad spectrum "between entertainment films and serious reflections on history, racism and the human condition", festival organizers said in the statement.

Thierry Fremaux, of the organising committee, said: "Because of his films, and the many causes he holds dear, he's year-in year-out the equal of the very greatest Hollywood filmmakers.

"We are very proud to count him among us."

Spielberg has presented several films at Cannes, though most of them were not in competition. But his 1974 film 'The Sugarland Express' did pick up the best screenplay prize.

He is best known for a succession of box office hits in the 1970s and '80s with films including 'E.T.', 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and 'Poltergeist'.

But it was not until he turned to darker subjects that he won his first Oscars.

He won his first best director award in 1994 for 'Schindler's List', based on a true story about a man's efforts to save his Jewish workers from the Holocaust.

Story continues below…

The film, which starred Liam Neeson in the title role, picked up seven Oscars, including the coveted best picture.

He won a second best director Oscar five years later for the devastating WWII drama 'Saving Private Ryan', starring Tom Hanks, which won five Oscars.

Since then, Spielberg has moved comfortably between the kind of crowd-pleasing entertainment with which he made his name to those tackling more serious themes, such as last year's 'Lincoln'.

Despite leading the nominations ahead of Sunday's Oscars ceremony with 12 nods, the presidential biopic lost out in the best picture category to 'Argo', while Ang Lee beat Spielberg to best director for 'The Life of Pi'.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available