PARIS — France’s Nicole Garcia, a well-regarded actress-turned-director who has worked with many of French cinemas greats, will serve as president of the Cannes Festival’s Camera d’or Award jury.
Created in 1978, the Camera d’or prizes the best feature debut at the Festival, whether the Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition, or Un Certain Regard), Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week.
Past plaudits have gone to Jim Jarmusch (“Stranger Than Paradise”), Mira Nair (“Salaam Bombay!”), Jaco Van Dormael (“Toto the Heroe”), Naomi Kawase (“Suzake”), Bahman Ghobadi (“A Time For Drunken Horses”) and Steve McQueen (“Hunger”).
Often selecting films from directors who came into Cannes as virtual unknowns outside their country of origin – Mexico’s Michael Rowe, with “Leap Year,” for example – winners very often count among the select group of Cannes arthouse movies which garner bountiful sales in Cannes’ follow-up, though prices paid for winning titles is now another matter.
Last year’s award went to “Ilo Ilo,” helmed by Singapore’s Anthony Chen, which was sold by Memento Films Intl. and presented as part of Directors’ Fortnight.
Garcia joins past Camera d’or jury presidents who have included Korea’s Bong Joon-ho, Mexico’s Gael Garcia Bernal, Brazil’s Carlos Diegues and Agnes Varda. Garcia will present the Caméra d’or 2014 at Cannes’ Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 24.
Breaking through with her performance in Bertrand Tavernier’s “Let Joy Reign Supreme” in 1975, Garcia went on to work with Alain Resnais (“My American Uncle,” 1980), Bertrand Blier (“Stepfather,” 1981), Claude Lelouch (“Bolero: Dance of Life,” 1981), Pierre Schoendoerffer (“A Captain’s Honor,” 1982), Claude Sautet (“Waiter!,” 1983) and Claude Miller (“Little Lili,” 2003).
As a director, Garcia debuted to critical acclaim with 1990’s “Every Other Weekend” followed up by 1994’s “The Favorite Son” and came to specialize in dark, brooding identity dramas such as 2011’s “A View of Love” before last year’s “Going Away,” which Variety situated in “the best French tradition of intimate yet ambivalent character observation.”