Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Maria Eladia HagermanChanel and Charles Finch Pre-Oscar dinner, Inside, Los Angeles, USA 03 Mar 2018

CANNES BOUND: The Cannes Film Festival has picked Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu to be the president of the jury of its 72nd edition, scheduled for May 14 to 25.

It is the first time a Mexican director has been chosen for the role.

Director of critically acclaimed movies including the 2006 feature “Babel,” “Birdman,” in 2014 and “The Revenant” in 2016, Iñárritu was the first Mexican-born director to win the best director awards in Cannes in 2006. He has also won several Academy Awards, including Best Director for “The Revenant” and Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for “Birdman.”

His short “Carne y Arena” (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible), a virtual-reality installation addressing the question of migrants, was part of the Official Selection in Cannes in 2017.

“I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the jury,” the director said in a statement. “This is a true delight and a responsibility, that we will assume with passion and devotion.”

Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux, respectively president and general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, jointly stated, “Not only is he a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises, Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time.”

Iñárritu succeeds Cate Blanchett, whose jury awarded the Palme d’Or to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda for his “Shoplifters,” a drama that tells the story of an impoverished family and paints a raw picture of middle-class Japan.

The official selection and members of the 2019 jury are set to be announced in mid-April.

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