“The Queen” helmer Stephen Frears will reign over the jury of the Cannes Film Festival this year, organizers announced Thursday.
British helmer takes on the job of jury prexy carried out last year by Wong Kar Wai, who is expected to be in attendance again with Norah Jones starrer “My Blueberry Nights.”
Fest, celebrating its 60th anniversary, runs May 16-27.
Frears is no stranger to Cannes, although the last time he had a film there was 1996, when “The Van” screened in competition.
His in-competition “Prick Up Your Ears,” about scribe Joe Orton, won a special jury prize in 1987, while “The Snapper” screened in the 1993 Directors Fortnight.
Frears was back in Cannes in 2004 to give attendees that year’s “lesson in cinema.”
In a statement, Frears said it was “an honor, but it’s also a treat to be able to watch terrific films from all over the world in such heady surroundings. God save Cannes! (as well as the queen).”
Fest prexy Gilles Jacob said: “The 60th festival will henceforth take place under a lucky star, that of intelligence, wit and a dash of impertinence.”
While artistic director Thierry Fremaux concentrates on this year’s lineup, already being put together, Jacob is spearheading plans for the festival’s 60th-anni bash, expected to take place the first weekend, either Saturday or Sunday.
Event will be “a pause to celebrate world cinema, a sort of liturgy,” a Cannes spokesman said. “We don’t intend it to overwhelm the festival’s main business of showcasing films.”