Cate Blanchett will lead the Cannes film festival jury this year. She is a double Oscar winner and the 12th winner to take up the role. She won the best actress award at the 2014 Academy Awards.
The actor is happy to take on the role. “I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year’s jury,” Blanchett said in a statement.
“I have been to Cannes in many guises over the years; as an actress, producer, in the marketplace, the Gala-sphere and in Competition but never solely for the sheer pleasure of watching the cornucopia of films this great festival harbours,” – Cate Blanchett
Pierre Lescure, president of Cannes Film Festival, and the festival’s director, Thierry Frémaux, said, “We are delighted to welcome such a rare and unique artist, whose talent and convictions enrich both screen and stage.”
Cannes has come under fire for disregarding women’s voices. Only one female director has won the festival’s top prize. Jane Campion won the Palme d’Or for her film “The Piano” in 1993. Further, only two women have won the festival’s prize for best director — one in 1961 and the other in 2017
Last year, the jury president was Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. The top prize last year went to the Swedish film ‘The Square’.
The festival begins on May 8.
Blanchett stands against sexual harassment
Blanchett has been vocal about sexual harassment in the industry. After allegations against Harvey Weinstein, she made a public statement backing the women who had spoken against him.
“Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account. It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have,” Blanchett said.
She has joined the Time’s Up campaign started by 300 women to stop harassment at the workplace.
Picture Credit: Alchetron