Cannes: Cristian Mungiu to Head Short and Student Film Juries

Courtesy of Dan Beleiu
Cristian Mungiu

The Palme d'Or winner will oversee the two categories.

Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu will oversee the student and short film juries at this year’s 70th anniversary Cannes Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

The Romanian director is a Cannes regular, having won the Palme for his 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days in 2007, as well as the best screenplay prize for Beyond the Hills in 2012 and the best director prize for Graduation last year.

He also served on Steven Spielberg’s main festival jury in 2013.

Mungiu follows Japanese director Naomi Kawase and Oscar-nominated director Abderrahmane Sissako as head of the juries.

The Cinefondation selects 15 to 20 student films each year for its competition. The section was launched in 2000 by past president Gilles Jacob, who still oversees the section.

“Value and originality have never achieved easy recognition in the cinema. And it’s even harder to recognize the value and originality of very young directors,” Mungiu said, recognizing the section’s efforts to seek out young directors. “The Cinefondation has always given young directors the help and recognition they needed at the very outset of their career, so that they could express themselves with courage and find their own voice.”

Laszlo Nemes, whose Son of Saul won a Golden Globe and a best foreign-language film Oscar, and Amat Escalante, whose Heli earned him the best director prize at Cannes in 2013, are past recipients of the prize.

Directors Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Martin Scorsese also have served as presidents of the Cinefondation and short films juries in Cannes.