This year’s Cannes Film Festival didn’t host the biggest movie of the year — “Barbie” — but the film’s director and co-writer, Greta Gerwig, will have a significant role at next year’s event.
Cannes’s organizers announced on Thursday that Gerwig will lead the jury at the 77th edition of the glitzy festival, scheduled to run from May 14-25, a role in which she will help decide the winner of the Palme d’Or, the festival’s top prize.
Gerwig will be the first-ever female American director to take the role. And at 40, she will be the second youngest person to be jury president, following Sophia Loren, the Italian actress, who was 31 when she chaired the jury in 1966.
Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s artistic director, and Iris Knobloch, its president, called Gerwig the “obvious choice” for the role. The director, writer and actress, they added in a joint statement, “audaciously embodies the renewal of world cinema” and “is also the representative of an era that is breaking down barriers and mixing genres, and thereby elevating the values of intelligence and humanism.”
Gerwig, who is also known for movies including “Frances Ha” (which she co-wrote and starred in), “Lady Bird” and “Little Women” (which she both wrote and directed) said in the news release announcing her appointment that she was “stunned and thrilled and humbled” to have been named the jury president.
“As a cinephile, Cannes has always been the pinnacle of what the universal language of movies can be,” Gerwig added: “I cannot wait to see what journeys are in store for all of us.”
The lineup for next year’s festival is scheduled to be announced in April.