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Naomi Kawase to Preside Over Cannes Cinefondation, Short Film Jury

After serving on the Cannes jury presided over by Steven Spielberg in 2013, acclaimed Japanese director Naomi Kawase will be back on jury duty for the festival’s Cinefondation and short film selection.

Kawase has formed a strong bond with Cannes over the years. She has presented six films at the festival: “Suzaku (Moe no Suzaku),” which earned her the Camera d’Or, as well “Shara” (Sharasojyu), grand-prize winner “Mourning Forest” (Mogari no Mori), “Hanezu” (Hanezu no tsuki), “Still the Water” (Futatsume no mado) and “Sweet Bean” (An), which opened Un Certain Regard last year.

Kawase follows the footsteps of renown directors who have presided the Cinefondation and short film jury, notably Martin Scorsese, Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Hou Hsiao Hsien, John Boorman and the Dardennes brothers.

“Films enrich people’s lives, and their worlds inspire new possibilities,” Kawase said. “It is a little over 100 years since the advent of films, and their potential is ever expanding. They are exceptional media that can embody the diversity of world cultures, and their stories are like another life that enchants the audiences who see them.”

“Short films are exceptionally difficult, facing the question of how much of a story can be experienced in their short duration, while they also contain myriad possibilities yet unseen,” she added. “And among films created by students there will be the discovery of hidden brilliance like a gemstone, which makes me very much look forward to participating in this jury, a journey of adventure.”

Aside from her directorial career, Kawase also created the International Nara Film Festival to promote the work of young directors.

Gilles Jacob, the former president of the Cannes Film Festival and creator of the Cinefondation, said Kawase’s “pointillist talent has helped generate a cinematic intelligence and a subtle art full of poetic mystery and graceful simplicity, conveyed through the great emotions of life and the tiny gestures of everyday existence.”

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