Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu will head the jury for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, the organisers announced on Wednesday. He is the first Mexican artist to be given this position. The festival will be held from May 14 and 25.

Innaritu, who won the Best Director Oscar two years in a row for Birdman (2014) and The Revenant (2015), said he was “humbled and thrilled” by the appointment. “Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career,” the filmmaker said in a statement. “Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart...This is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion.”

The festival’s president Pierre Lescure and artistic director Thierry Fremaux described Innaritu as “a director who is full of surprises [but] also a man of conviction, an artist of his time,” in the statement.

The organisers shared a montage of Innaritu’s films on social media while announcing his appointment as jury president.

Several of Innaritu’s films have been premiered at Cannes, starting with his debut feature Amores Perros (2000), which won the Critics’ Week Grand Prize at the festival. His most recent film, the virtual reality short Flesh and Sand, was premiered there in 2017. It was reportedly the first virtual reality project to be shown at Cannes.

The Revenant (2015).