Pedro Almodóvar has landed one of the most prestigious positions in the film industry.
The Cannes Film Festival announced Tuesday the icon of world cinema, who has directed films like Volver, All About My Mother, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Talk to Her across a 35-year career, will front the jury of the upcoming festival’s 70th iteration.
“I am very happy to be able to celebrate the Festival de Cannes 70th anniversary from such a privileged position. I am grateful, honoured and a bit overwhelmed,” Almodóvar said in a statement. “I am aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury and I hope to be up to the job. I can only tell that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure.”
Each spring, the Cannes Film Festival jury (comprised of entertainment professionals from around the world) presides over the esteemed competition slate, voting to determine the recipients of the festival’s awards — including one of the industry’s highest honors, the Palme d’Or, which is bestowed upon the jury’s favorite competitive title.
Last year, the 67-year-old filmmaker’s Julieta had its world premiere in competition at the festival, joining four of his previous works — All About My Mother (which won best director), Volver (best screenplay, best female performance), Broken Embraces, and The Skin I Live In — that have bowed on the Croisette in the past. His 2004 film Bad Education launched the 2004 event, while Almodóvar was featured on the poster for the 60th edition in 2007.
The 2016 Cannes Film Festival birthed major entries currently vying for Academy Awards, including Paul Verhoeven’s Isabelle Huppert vehicle Elle, Jeff Nichols’ Loving (which earned actress Ruth Negga her first Oscar nomination), and foreign language contenders The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi and Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade.
More members of the 2017 jury will be announced in April, as will the main slate of contending films.
The 70th Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 17-28.