The Festival said Labaki had been chosen after “moving hearts and minds at the last Festival de Cannes with her Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated ‘Capernaum,’ which won the Jury Prize.”
The organizers noted Labaki’s films have all been unveiled in Cannes. She succeeds Benicio Del Toro as president of the jury of the Un Certain Regard sidebar.
Labaki spoke about her deep connections with Cannes, which she has attended since she was a film student over a decade ago.
“Today, I am the president of the Un Certain Regard Jury, which just goes to show that sometimes life can be even better than your dreams,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the films in the Selection. I can’t wait to debate and discuss, to be shaken up, to find inspiration in other artists’ work.”
“Capernaum,” played in competition in and won the Jury Prize in Cannes in 2018. It went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. “Tackling its issues with heart and intelligence, Labaki’s child-endangerment tale is a splendid addition to the ranks of great guttersnipe dramas,” Variety said in its review.
Labaki had a message for those selected in this year’s Un Certain Regard lineup. “To the directors whose films have been selected for Un Certain Regard this year, I would like to say that as a child, I would spend hours gazing out of my bedroom window, watching the world go by,” she said. “These same eyes can’t wait to watch their films.”
Un Certain Regard screenings start on May 15 and the winners will be announced on May 24.