Cannes: President Gilles Jacob to Step Down in 2015

2012-17 FEA Cannes Gilles Jacob Brad Pitt H

Jacob (left) and Brad Pitt survey the red carpet in 2011.

Days before the 66th Cannes Film Festival is due to kick off, the boss reveals he will soon step down after 38 influential years with the festival.

PARIS -- Just days before the media frenzy of the 66th Cannes Film Festival will descend on the Croisette, president Gilles Jacob let it quietly slip that he will step down in 2015, after finishing his current three-year term.

"I promised my wife several times I’d stop. This time, I'll do it," said the 83-year-old in an interview with the regional newspaper Nice Matin.

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Jacob has been a part of the festival since 1977, first serving as CEO of the organization and then moving into the president role in 2001. His presidency was slated to end in 2012, but in 2011, three years were added to his term. With his statement, he confirms that he will step down in 2015.

Jacob created the Camera d’Or prize in 1978, and the Un Certain Regard and Cinefondation sidebars to highlight younger and new filmmakers. He will leave his mark not only on the festival but on the city itself, having brought the new Palais des Festivals to Cannes. 

The festival press office confirmed that Jacob would not be available for the position of president after his current term ends. A representative said Jacob had previously signaled that, but confirmed that position in the newspaper interview.

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs May 15-26.