Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett has been named the jury president of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the organisers announced on Thursday.
She takes the baton from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who presided over the jury in 2017. Blanchett is reportedly the 12th woman to lead the panel at the festival.
“We’re very pleased to welcome a rare and unique artist with talent and conviction,” Cannes President Pierre Lescure and Delegate General Thierry Fremaux said in a joint statement. “Our conversations this autumn convince us she will be a committed president, and a passionate and generous spectator.”
Responding to the announcement, Blanchett said, “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.”
The 2018 Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 8 to May 19.
The Australian actress has been vocal against sexual harassment in Hollywood. She also extended her support to the women who had come forward to speak against producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually assaulting several women over three decades.
In a statement to Variety in October last year, she had said: “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.”
Apart from two Oscars for her roles in Blue Jasmine (2013) and The Aviator (2004), Blanchett has also won three Golden Globes, three BAFTA Awards and numerous other accolades. Some of her most notable films include Notes on a Scandal (2006), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), I’m Not There (2007) and Carol (2015) . She has also appeared in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003), The Hobbit trilogy (2012–2014), and was last seen in Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
She will next be seen in Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette, scheduled to come out in May, and Gary Ross’s Ocean’s 8 in June this year.