Cannes: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Named Jury President

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Getty - H 2019
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The four-time Oscar winner will preside over the jury for its 72nd edition, which begins May 13.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has been named the head of this year's Cannes Film Festival jury, overseeing the Official Selection competition at the 72nd edition of the fest.

The appointment of the four-time Oscar winner marks the first time a Mexican artist has headed up the jury.

“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career," Inarritu said in a statement. The festival launched his career with Amores Perros winning the Critics' Week sidebar back in 2000, and he won the main competition best director honors with Babel in 2006. Biutiful also screened in 2010, and his Special Achievement Academy Award-winning virtual reality installation Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand) was included as part of the official selection in 2017.

"I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the Jury. Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion," Inarritu added.

“Not only is he a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises, Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time. We are always happy to welcome him on the Croisette," president Pierre Lescure and delegate general Thierry Fremaux said in a statement. The duo noted that Carne y Arena was a project that addressed the topical issue of migrants, and that Inarritu's appointment was a celebration of the strength of Mexican cinema.

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett presided over the jury in 2018, which awarded the Palme d'Or to Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters.

She not only led the jury in the tumultuous year, but led a parade of 82 women up the famed steps of the Palais to protest gender inequality and led the signing of the festival's 5050 by 2020 parity pledge. 

This year's Cannes Film Festival runs May 14-25.