With less than three weeks to go until the 69th Cannes Film Festival kicks off on May 11, organizers have set the jury that will fill the panel under President George Miller. Along with the Mad Max: Fury Road helmer, a group of four women and four men from international backgrounds will decide the winners of this year’s Palme d’Or and other major prizes.
They are: French director/writer Arnaud Desplechin; American actress Kirsten Dunst; Italian multi-hyphenate Valeria Golino; Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen; Hungarian director/writer Laszlo Nemes; French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis; Iranian producer Katayoon Shahabi; and Canadian actor Donald Sutherland.
The festival said today that it has “always sought to adopt a universal and international approach, and in tune with this tradition, George Miller will be surrounded by eight luminaries of world cinema.”
The selection is an interesting bunch, from newcomers to veterans. Nemes had his first film debut in Competition last year. Son Of Saul went on to win the Grand Prix as well as the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Sutherland has been in four competition films since 1968, most recently with 1989’s Lost Angels. His second time in the selection was in 1970 with Robert Altman’s Palme d’Or winner M*A*S*H.
Desplechin, a five-time Palme d’Or contender, famously saw his last film, My Golden Days, screen in Directors’ Fortnight last year despite many expecting it in the Competition.
Dunst was in 2006 competitor Marie Antoinette and won the Best Actress Award in 2011 for her performance in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. Mikkelsen
won the Best Actor award in 2012 for Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (2012).
As director, actress Golino’s debut effort, Miele, screened in the Un Certain Regard selection in 2013, and received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
French darling Paradis has previously acted in such films as Patrice Leconte’s Girl On The Bridge, Pascal Chaumeil’s Heartbreaker and Jean-Marc Vallée’s Café De Flore . Shahabi’s Noori Pictures was behind 2015 Un Certain Regard selection Nahid by Ida Panahandeh.
There are 21 films in Competition with winners to be announced at the Closing Ceremony on May 22. In a break with tradition, as fest chief Thierry Frémaux announced during the unveiling of the lineup on April 14, the film awarded by the Palme d’Or will be screened that same evening, rather than a separate closing night selection.