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Women Dominate Cate Blanchett’s Cannes Jury, from Kristen Stewart to Ava DuVernay

The Cannes Competition jury also adds auteurs Denis Villeneuve and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Kristen StewartCANNES: "120 BATTEMENTS PAR MINUTE" (120 Beats per Minute) Premiere, Cannes, France - 20 May 2017

Kristen Stewart at Cannes

face to face/REX/Shutterstock

While the Competition at the 71st Festival de Cannes (May 8-19) so far includes only three women directors, Cannes has selected many films from women filmmakers in such sidebars as Un Certain Regard, Critics’ Week,  and Directors’ Fortnight. And the Competition jury led by president Cate Blanchett is dominated by women.

The jury features five women, four men, seven nationalities, and five continents. They will reveal the winners on Saturday, May 19 during the Closing Ceremony.


The 2018 Jury

Cate Blanchett – President (Australian actress, producer)

Chang Chen (Chinese actor)

Ava DuVernay (American writer, director, producer)

Robert Guédiguian (French director, writer, producer)

Khadja Nin (Burundian songwriter, composer, singer)

Léa Seydoux (French actress)

Kristen Stewart (American actress)

Denis Villeneuve (Canadian director, writer)

Andrei Zvyagintsev (Russian director, writer)

Cannes Biographies (below):

Chang Chen – Chinese actor

Chang Chen made his film debut in the late Edward Yang’s “A Brighter Summer Day.” He rose to fame in the Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000. His film credits include Wong Kar Wai’s “Happy Together” (1997), “2046” (2004), “The Grandmaster” (2013), Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “Three Times” (2005) and “The Assassin” (2015), Tian Zhuangzhuang’s “The Go Master” (2006) John Woo’s “Red Cliff” (2008-2009), “The Last Supper” directed by Lu Chuan (2012). In 2017, he returned for Yang Lu’s film “Brotherhood of Blades II” and recently played in “Forever Young” by Fangfang Li.

Ava DuVernayHammer Museum's Gala in the Garden, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2017

Ava DuVernay

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Ava DuVernay – American writer, director, producer

Nominated for the Academy Award and Golden Globes and winner of the BAFTA and EMMY, Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor known for the historical drama “Selma” (2014), the criminal justice documentary “The 13th,” (2016) and the recent Disney cinematic adaptation of the classic children’s novel “A Wrinkle in Time.”   Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her film “Middle of Nowhere,” DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women directors through her film collective ARRAY.

Robert Guédiguian – French director, writer, producer

The work of Robert Guédiguian, an activist filmmaker, celebrates the city of Marseille where he grew up. Acclaimed by critics when he first started directing in the 80s, he met public success with “Marius and Jeannette,” which won the Prix Louis-Delluc in 1997.

His film credits include “Marie-Jo et ses deux amours” (2002), “Le Promeneur du Champ de Mars” (2004), “Le Voyage en Arménie” (2007), “Lady Jane” (2008), “L’armée du crime” (2009), “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (2011). His latest film to date, “The House by the Sea” (2017), received enthusiastic response from critics and audiences.

Khadja Nin – Burundian songwriter, composer, singer

Youngest of a family of eight, Khadja Nin studied music at an early age, before leaving Africa to go to Europe. Her albums are a mix of occidental popmusic, African and afro-cuban rhythms. She gained wide recognition and success with “Sambolera Mayi Son.” “Ya…” (“From me to you”) is a wonderful tribute to Mandela and the video of her song “Mama” was directed by Jeanne Moreau. International Artist, she became a Unicef and ACP Observatory on Migration Good Will Ambassador. She was awarded the Prize “Prix de l’Action Feminine” by the African Women’s League in 2016. She has been committed to support ordinary heroes.

Lea Seydoux

Lea Seydoux

Daniel Bergeron

Léa Seydoux – French actress

Rising to fame with Christophe Honoré’s “The Beautiful Person” in 2008, Léa Seydoux is an award-winning actress, notably the Palme d’Or for Abdelatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Colour” in 2013. She successfully alternates between author and mainstream films. Her film credits include Rebecca Zlotowski’s “Dear Prudence” and “Grand Central,” Benoît Jacquot’s “Farewell, My Queen” and “Diary of a Chambermaid,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent,” Sam Mendes’ “Spectre,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster,” and Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only the End of the World.”

Kristen Stewart – American actress

Kristen Stewart has been playing roles since an early age and received widespread recognition in 2008 for “The Twilight Saga” film series (2008–12). Her film credit includes “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012), “Equals” by Drake Doremus (2015), “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ang Lee (2016), and several Festival de Cannes Selections such as “On the Road” by Walter Salles (2012), “Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014) and “Personal Shopper” (2016), both by Olivier Assayas (2014) as well as “Café Societ”y by Woody Allen. She directed her first short film “Come Swim” in 2017.

Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve


Denis Villeneuve – Canadian director, writer

Internationally renowned and recently two-time Academy Award winner for “Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve made his debut at the National Film Board of Canada in the early 90’s. His first feature, “Un 32 août sur Terre” (1998) was invited to Cannes. He returned there with “Next Floor” (2008), “Polytechnique” (2009) and the Oscar nominated “Sicario” (2015). In 2010 “Incendies” was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. In 2017, “Arrival” was nominated for 8 Oscars and 9 BAFTAs, including best movie and best director.

Andreï Zvyagintsev –  Russian director, writer

Multi-award winning filmmaker Andreï Zvyagintsev has already become one of the most respected directors in Russian and international cinema. He directed his first feature film in 2003 “The Return” which won him a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He has continued to write and direct award-winning feature films “The Banishment” (2007), “Elena” (2011) and “Leviathan” (2014). His most recent film “Loveless” won the Jury Prize at the 2017 Festival de Cannes, and was among the nominees at the Golden Globe and 90th Academy Awards.

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