The Cannes Film Festival has appointed actor-filmmaker Greta Gerwig as the jury president for its upcoming 77th edition.
The festival shared the news on Thursday morning, calling Gerwig a “heroine of modern our times who had shaken the status quo, reported entertainment news outlet Deadline.
The actor-filmmaker, who is currently receiving praise for her work on Barbie, the film based on the iconic Mattel doll, will become the first female American director to take on the role of jury president at the prestigious film gala.
I love films I love making them, I love going to them, I love talking about them. As a cinephile, Cannes has always been the pinnacle of what the universal language of movies can be, Gerwig said in a statement.
Being in the place of vulnerability, in a dark theater filled with strangers, watching a brand-new film is my favorite place to be. I am stunned and thrilled and humbled to be serving as the president of the Cannes Film Festival Jury. I cannot wait to see what journeys are in store for all of us!
Gerwig will be the second female director to be jury president, after Jane Campion in 2014, and the second American woman after screen legend Olivia de Havilland, who was the first female jury president in 1965.
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, said Cannes Festival President Iris Knobloch and Delegate General Thierry Fremaux.
Beyond the 7th Art, she is also the representative of an era that is breaking down barriers and mixing genres, and thereby elevating the values of intelligence and humanism,” they added.
Gerwig started out as an actor, appearing in movies like Hannah Takes the Stairs, Greenberg, Frances Ha, Mistress America, To Rome with Love, Jackie and 20th Century Women.
She broke out as a solo director with 2017’s Lady Bird and then directed Little Women in 2019. Her latest release, “Barbie”, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has earned over $1.4 billion and rave reviews from the critics since its release in July.