With Spielberg heading the 2013 jury, it's no big surprise that this year's members are among one of the most esteemed and eclectic to ever grace La Croisette, with the likes of Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee (whom Spielberg confessed to worshiping) brushing shoulders with Indian star Vidya Balan and Romanian Palme d'Or winner Cristian Mungiu. The entire group, also comprised of Lynne Ramsay, Naomi Kawase, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Auteuil, all took part in the conference, but, as expected, Spielberg was the center of attention.
"I think that we're always judging and we're always reserving private judgment of movies," he said. "I've always just accepted that there's always great competition for audiences' attention. There are certain films that compete for a selective kind of audience. That doesn't really allow me to compare these apples to these oranges. I don't see films as competition, I see them as ways to brag and boast about other countries' work. I see this as two weeks of celebrating film, not two weeks of putting films against one another."
When asked by a Dutch journalist if he was familiar with the work of Alex Van Warmerdam, the first Dutch filmmaker to be up for the Palme d'Or in 38 years (he's here with "Borgman"), Spielberg casually said, "No. We'll become aware of the maker if the film causes us to be made aware of the maker."