Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu named president of Cannes Film Festival jury

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will help decide which official selection film should win the coveted Palme d'Or.

Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has been appointed the jury president of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

The Birdman filmmaker, the first Mexican to be given the prestigious position, will head up the jury, to be comprised of members of the movie industry, and help decide what film competing in the official selection should win the coveted Palme d'Or.

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

Pierre Lescure, festival president, and Thierry Fremaux, artistic director, said they are "delighted" that Inarritu, who won back-to-back Best Director Oscars for 2015's Birdman and 2016's The Revenant, had accepted their invitation.

"Not only is he a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises, Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time," they said in a joint statement.

The 55-year-old's relationship with Cannes dates back to 2000, when his debut feature Amores Perros premiered there, and he most recently went back in 2017 as his virtual reality experience Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand) was selected for the competition.

Inarritu follows in the footsteps of his Babel star Cate Blanchett, who served as president in 2018 and awarded the Palme d'Or to Shoplifters with the help of jury members including Ava DuVernay and Kristen Stewart.

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival runs between 14 and 25 May (19).

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