With just a few weeks to go before the curtain rises on the 70th Cannes Film Festival, organizers have set the eight jury members who will serve under President Pedro Almodovar. Joining the Spanish filmmaker are: two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith; veteran Cannes regulars Park Chan-wook from Korea and Paolo Sorrentino from Italy; last year’s breakout director of Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade; Chinese actress and producer Fan Bingbing; French filmmaker Agnès Jaoui; French composer Gabriel Yared; and the previously announced Jessica Chastain.
Cannes Fest chief Thierry Frémaux revealed Chastain’s participation earlier this month during a radio interview the day after the announcement of the Official Selection. Her and Smith’s presence on the red carpet every day will embellish what has thus far shaped up to be an event that’s lean on Hollywood.
Chastain was last in town with 2014’s Un Certain Regard entry The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby. Smith is the only jury member never to have had a film presented in Cannes.
Park won the Grand Prize in Cannes for 2004’s Old Boy and the Jury Prize for Thirst in 2009. He was also at the Palais last year with the acclaimed The Handmaiden. Another Riviera veteran, Sorrentino has had seven of his eight movies premiere in Cannes. Il Divo won the Jury Prize in 2008 and 2014’s The Great Beauty went on to win the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His most recent movie to debut on the Croisette was 2015’s Youth.
A multi-award-winning actress, screenwriter, director and singer, France’s Jaoui has had one film in Cannes, 2004’s Look At Me (Comme Une Image), which was awarded the prize for Best Screenplay. Likewise, Fan, who is one of the biggest international stars to hail from the Middle Kingdom, had has one pic in Competition: 2010’s Chongqing Blues.
The only composer in the bunch, Yared wrote his first score for Jean-Luc Godard and has penned the music for 10 Cannes entries, most recently Xavier Dolan’s 2016 drama It’s Only The End Of The World.
Ade’s Toni Erdmann debuted in Competition last year and though it left the Croisette without a major prize, went on to scoop the European Film Awards and an Oscar nomination.
Almodovar’s jury will announce its winners on May 28 at the fest’s closing ceremony.