Alejandro G. Iñárritu has been named president of the Cannes Film Festival jury.
The Oscar-winning director of “Birdman” and “The Revenant” will be the first Mexican artist to chair the panel. Iñárritu has a long history with Cannes, starting with his debut feature, “Amores Perros,” in 2000, and last attended two years ago with his critically acclaimed virtual reality experience, “Carne y Arena,” in the official selection.
“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career,” Iñárritu said in a statement. “I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the jury.”
He added: “Cinema runs through the veins of the planet, and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion.”
Pierre Lescure, the president of the festival, and Thierry Frémaux, its artistic director, praised Iñárritu as “not only a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises [but] also a man of conviction, an artist of his time.” They noted that it was “very rare” for Iñárritu to agree to participate on a jury.
“Amores Perros,” an exploration of Mexican society, world premiered in Cannes’ Critics’ Week, won the Grand Prize and went on to receive a nomination for the foreign-language Oscar. In 2006, Iñárritu won the award for best director at Cannes for ensemble drama “Babel,” which received seven Oscar nods. He returned to the Croisette in 2010 with “Biutiful,” whose star, Javier Bardem, took home the best actor prize and an Oscar nomination.
“Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of ‘Babel’s’ director, it is Mexican cinema that the festival will be celebrating,” Lescure and Frémaux said.
“Birdman” (2015) and “The Revenant” (2016) both won a number of Oscars, including back-to-back directing awards for Iñárritu. He also took home a special Academy Award for “Carne y Arena” in 2017. Lescure and Frémaux described the VR installation as a work that addressed the issue of migration “with great strength and humanity.” After its world premiere in Cannes, “Carne y Arena” was exhibited in Milan, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Washington.
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 14 to 25.