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Four-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu has landed one of cinema’s most prestigious roles.

The 55-year-old Mexican director behind movies like The Revenant and Birdman has been named the 2019 Cannes Film Festival jury president, with the festival President Pierre Lescure and General Delegate Thierry Frémaux celebrating Gonzalez’s status as “the first time that the [festival] jury is to be chaired by a Latin American filmmaker.”

Each year, the Cannes jury (usually comprised of nine worldwide film and culture personalities) views each film selected to compete for the festival’s top awards, including the Palme d’Or — the festival’s top accolade and one of the global film industry’s most esteemed prizes.

Among multiple Academy Award-contending films to his credit, Iñárritu has debuted several of them in competition at Cannes, including 2010’s Biutiful (which earned star Javier Bardem an Oscar nomination and the Cannes Best Actor award), the 2000 drama Amores perros, and the 2006 Best Picture nominee Babel, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, who presided over last year’s Cannes jury. Iñárritu also presented his 2017 virtual reality project Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically invisible), which centered around the strength of migrants, among the festival’s Official Selection.

“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career. I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the Jury,” Gonzalez said in a press statement. “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.”

The 2019 Cannes Film Festival — the festival’s 72nd edition — runs May 14-25.


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