Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu will chair the jury of the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which will be held from May 14th to 25th of this year.

A first for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. The director of Birdman and The Revenant said he was “immensely proud to preside over the jury.”

“From the start of my career, the Cannes Film Festival has been important to me,” said the filmmaker. “I am honored and delighted to be returning this year, and immensely proud to preside over the jury. Cinema flows in the veins of the planet and this festival is its heart. With the jury, we will have the privilege of being the first to watch new films by our fellow filmmakers from all over the world. It is a real pleasure and a great responsibility, which we will assume with passion and dedication.”

An honor proudly assumed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu,  who is particularly attached to this festival. After all, Cannes bore witness to his entry into the world of cinema and served as an accelerator of his young career when he presented Amores Perros in 2000. The director’s breakout film is a drama that probes the Mexican society through three stories linked by a car accident in Mexico City. This, his first feature film, won the Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize and was nominated in the Best Foreign Film category of the Oscars in the same year.

Then, his work for Babel would make him the first Mexican director to receive the Best Director Award at Cannes in 2006. The film was the final opus of a trilogy that wove together four stories taking place on three continents with five different languages spoken featuring both professional and amateur actors.

Now director, producer, screenwriter, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu is now one of the most respected and notable filmmakers in the world, with four Oscars to his credit, including two Best Director nods.

«This is the first time that the Cannes Film Festival Jury will be chaired by a Mexican artist»

If he said he was honored and delighted by his appointment to the presidency of the jury, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu also brought smiles to the faces of Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux, respectively tipped as Festival President and Director General:

It is very rare that Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu accepts to participate in a jury and this is the first time that the Jury of the Cannes Film Festival will be chaired by a Mexican artist. Cannes is a place for all of cinema, and through the presence of the maker of Babel, the Festival will celebrate all of Mexican cinema.

“In addition to being a daring filmmaker and consistently surprising author, Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time. We have always been happy to welcome him on the Croisette and, in 2017, particularly proud to present in the Official Selection “Carne y Arena”, his virtual reality installation that evoked the issue of migrants with great strength and humanity.”

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu will, therefore, succeed Cate Blanchett, President of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival, whose jury awarded the Palme d’Or to “A Family Affair” by Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu.

*Article originally published on the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.