Cannes Film Festival Names Pierre Lescure President

Pierre Lescure - P 2013
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Pierre Lescure - P 2013

The co-founder of French pay-TV giant Canal Plus will take over from Gilles Jacob.

Pierre Lescure, the co-founder and former boss of French pay-TV operator Canal Plus, has been named the next president of the Cannes Film Festival.

He will start the role on July 1, following this year's 67th edition of the festival. 

A festival official confirmed his appointment to THR. A formal announcement followed later in the day.

The 68-year-old will replace Gilles Jacob, who has served as president of the annual festival on the Croisette since 2001. Lescure, a former journalist, will be tasked with supporting festival director Thierry Fremaux, who is in charge of the artistic side of the Cannes fest.

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"Congratulations to Pierre Lescure, who has been unanimously elected as president of the Cannes Film Festival, succeeding Gilles Jacob," tweeted French Minister of Culture and Communication Aurélie Filippetti

Lescure served on the jury of the Deauville Film Festival this year and as its president in 2002. He first made his interest in the Cannes post known late last year in a newspaper interview.

He is believed to be in favor of bringing in international talent and films, including Hollywood fare, which meshes well with Fremaux's approach.

His past work makes him a well-known entertainment industry player in France. Canal Plus, part of French media and telecom giant Vivendi, and its StudioCanal arm play a key role in helping finance French films.

Lescure also has political conections. He supported Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande during the elections that made him the president of France. More recently, he led a group established by Filippetti that drafted recommendations for France's anti-piracy policy and the protection of the creative industries.