Reuters have reported that Birdman and 21 Grams director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will head the jury at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in May, becoming the first Mexican to do so, and replacing Cate Blanchett as last year’s jury head.
Inarritu, 55, won the best director award in Cannes in 2006 for Babel, a film with a web of narratives spanning three continents and exploring cultural prejudices.
In 2014 the director won an Oscar for Birdman, a black comedy starring Michael Keaton, and in 2015 for The Revenant, the bear trapper battling the elements in the American wilderness, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role.
Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival, including the President Pierre Lescure, said in a statement “Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of… Babel’s director, it is Mexican cinema that the Festival will be celebrating.”
They quoted Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand) – a virtual reality project showing life as an immigrant and presented by Inarritu at Cannes in 2017 – as a recent highlight of work he has launched in France.
The Festival’s 72nd edition will run from 14 May to 25, and the other members of the jury will be announced soon.