Cannes just announced the members of this year’s Steven Spielberg led jury for the festival and to say it is a high profile bunch would be an understatement. Joining the jury is Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman, Japanese director and former Cannes competitor and winner Naomi Kawase, Indian actress Vidya Balan and British director and another former Cannes competitor Lynne Ramsay. It’s heartening to see Ramsay included in the Cannes jury especially so soon after Jane Got a Gun.
Rounding out the jury includes Oscar winning director Ang Lee, Oscar winning actor Christoph Waltz, French actor Daniel Auteuil and Romanian director and Cannes competitor/winner Cristian Mungiu.
The quality of the members of the Cannes jury make it clear how important this festival is. There are many, many film festivals around the world but how many can boast getting this kind of talent to participate. However, having a high profile means higher scrutiny. People are going to pay close attention to the people that are picked for the jury and the films selected for competition. And that attention is exactly why it’s necessary to understand the repercussions of what these decisions say to the public and how they influence the film industry.
And lastly, it is worth noting that there are more female directors on the jury than they have in competition.